Our practice is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries, and disorders that affect the nervous system in patients ages 2 through adult. The nervous system is very complex and regulates and coordinates body activities. The nervous system is classified in two divisions:
- Central nervous system – consisting of the brain and spinal cord.
- Peripheral nervous system – consisting of all other neural elements.
Principal organs are also related to the nervous system and can include: eyes and ears; sensory organs of taste and smell; and other sensory receptors in the skin, joints, muscles and other parts of the body.
Neurological conditions are many times caused by damage to the nervous system including: infections, injury, degeneration, tumors, blood flow disruption and other internal and external influences.
Our physicians treat a wide range of conditions.
Some of the most common conditions we see are:
Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that attack’s the brain’s nerve cells and neurons. The end result is degeneration of memory, thinking and language abilities. It is also consistent with behavioral changes due to frequent confusion. While although this disease has no known cure, many medicinal advancements can help slow the progression of the disease. We work with patients and their families to help diagnose and manage this debilitating disease and offer support and guidance for long term care issues.
Headaches originate by brain, blood vessel and nerve stimulation which cause brain signals to transmit pain. Headaches and migraines can have a wide-range of causes from illnesses, stress, trauma, alcohol, dehydration, hormone imbalance, to name a few. Migraines can be quite severe and debilitating and are generally accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound.
The lack of quality sleep can have consequences to your overall health. The most common types of sleep disorders include insomnia (difficulty falling asleep; mind’s inability to shut off); sleep apnea (a condition where your breathing stops during the night); narcolepsy (uncontrollable daytime sleepiness); as well as other sleep disturbances. The neurologists at Lake Norman Neurology are experienced in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders to help put patients on track for more successful sleep patterns and better health.
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disorder affecting the body’s movement as a result of the malfunction or “death” of nerve cells in the brain that help control certain movements. Parkinson’s is typically characterized by muscle tremors or rigidity, unstable balance and poor coordination. There is presently no cure, but proper medical management of the disease can help improve the symptoms.
Multiple Sclerosis or (MS) is a disease that usually surfaces between the ages of 20 – 40. MS causes the body to attack itself, specifically the fatty cell coating on the nerves in the brain, spinal cord and eyes called myelin. When this happens, the nerves become scarred preventing proper communication between the nerves to the rest of the body. The symptoms and severity of this condition vary between each individual and can include vision problems, cognitive issues, fatigue, balance, pain, muscle spasms and depression. The physicians at Lake Norman Neurology are experienced in diagnosing MS and providing long-term management of the disease.
Nerve disorders that affect the muscles are called neuromuscular disorders. Symptoms of some muscle and nerve conditions may include: muscle tremors, pain and cramping. Some more common nerve disorders include spinal muscular atrophy (nerves affected in the spinal cord); myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune disease that affect nerve function); multiple sclerosis (a disease that attacks the fatty cells surrounding nerves in your brain, eyes and spinal cord); and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a disease that attacks the neurons in your brain and spinal cord).
Epilepsy is a condition when a “change” in the brain causes it to generate signals that cause repeated seizures over time. Epileptic seizures can vary in severity and can be unpredictable. Some medications can help manage the seizures, but the condition should be managed by an experienced neurologist to help minimize the effects of the disease and provide steps to a more normal lifestyle.
A stroke occurs when the flow of blood is blocked to a portion of the brain. This can occur if the vessel itself hemorrhages and erupts or leaks (a hemorrhagic stroke) or if the flow itself is blocked (an ischemic stroke). Blockage typically occurs from a blood clot that prevents the flow of blood to a portion of the brain. The effects of a stroke can be severe and even fatal if not tended to immediately. Symptoms of a stroke may include: sudden paralysis of the face, arms or legs, trouble speaking or confusion, blurred vision or numbness of the arms, legs and face.
Whether at risk for a stroke or recovering from a stroke, Lake Norman Neurology physicians can help guide recovery and help reduce the chances of experiencing a stroke (or a reoccurrence) with proper medical management.
Some Common Procedures We Provide:
Ambulatory Electroencephalography Monitoring (AEEG) is a new method of technology used to track and record epilepsy seizures. It is a clear method for diagnosing epilepsy in patients as well as recording the frequency and severity of the seizures for a set period of time, generally in a 72- hour window. AEEG’s help record attacks, even though a patient may be unaware of them. This is especially effective in patients who are otherwise unable to report their occurrences of attack due to their ability to speak or convey themselves.
Botox is a neurotoxin injected under the skin into an over-active muscle by a small needle to help relax it. There are many neuromuscular disorders that Botox can help treat on a temporary basis. Botox treatments can be used to help some disorders involving muscle spasms or contractions, specifically those involving facial muscles. Before using Botox for any movement disorders, our neurologists discuss the benefits and risks of the injections to see if it is a viable treatment option for the individual patient.
An EMG (electromyogram) measures the amount of electrical activity in your muscles while they are resting and contracted. A nerve conduction velocity (NCV) measures how quickly electrical signals move through the nerves. EMG’s are used to test for diseases that might affect muscle tissue, nerves or joints. It is also helpful in pinpointing the source of weakness, paralysis or muscle spasms. A NCV is used to find damage to the nervous system – specifically the nerves leaving the brain and spinal column extending to other parts of the body. The neurologists at Lake Norman Neurology can determine if an EMG or NCV would be helpful in diagnosing symptoms of an underlying condition or disease.
An occipital nerve block is a steroid injection (or other type of medication) around the occipital nerves (nerves located in the back of the head positioned just above the neck). The primary purpose of an occipital nerve block is to bring relief to certain types of headaches and migraines. The blocks can help reduce inflammation around the nerves and thus help alleviate the extreme pain.
A skin biopsy consists of removing a portion of skin for the purpose of examination, testing or study. The most common reason for a skin biopsy is if skin cancer is suspected because of an abnormal color, size, shape or an area that has difficulty healing or is prone to infection. Samples are also commonly taken to study a bacterial infection, fungal infection or a skin disease that needs further studying for diagnosis. The extraction usually involves anesthetic to numb the area to be biopsied and is typically performed in the office.
Trigger points are “knots” that form in the muscles where they don’t relax. Usually these knots can be felt under the skin and can irritate the surrounding nerves and tissue. A trigger point injection is a needle insertion into the knot where saline, anesthetic or a corticosteroid is released. The injection can help release the trigger point allowing for tension and pain relief. Trigger point injections are often used for patients with tension headaches and fibromyalgia, though it can be used with any muscle groups.