While May has become known as Stroke Awareness Month, the importance of stroke awareness doesn’t end when the month is over. A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when a blockage stops the flow of blood into the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. Strokes can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, not just adults over the age of 65. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly a quarter of all strokes occur in people younger than the age of 65.
This Stroke Awareness Infographic provides some important stroke facts. For more information on stroke facts and treatmenttvisit Memorial Medical Center’s Stroke Center. Read the rest of this entry »
At age 26, Darah Nelson is far younger than the average stroke patient. Yet on Oct. 18, 2012, she found herself in her office, the door closed, and unable to move or speak. A family friend, who had once experienced a stroke, happened to stop by, opened her door and quickly recognized the signs of a stroke.
Darah arrived via ambulance to Memorial Medical Center, where the Emergency Department team launched its Star 45 program, the 45-minute diagnostic timeline that determines whether patients, like Darah, are candidates for stroke treatment.
The video below chronicles her story. Read the rest of this entry »
Karla Dirks enjoying the company of her family
Karla Dirks was looking forward to a great road trip to St. Louis with her sister, but it ended with an injury followed by more bad news.
While attending a Cardinals’ playoff game in 2011, Karla fell and hit the back of her head on a concrete step while returning to her seat following the seventh-inning stretch.
A follow-up CT scan revealed a brain tumor – news that left her scared and surprised since she hadn’t experienced any symptoms to hint that something was wrong. The tumor was a meningioma, which grows from the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Somewhat easing her concerns, she learned that these tumors were slow growing and often not malignant.
Her doctor referred her to Brian Russell, MD, a Springfield Clinic neurosurgeon, who explained that she had three options: brain surgery followed by two to three months off work to recuperate; do nothing and keep an eye on the tumor; or an outpatient procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery that would not require an incision. Read the rest of this entry »
Paige Ballinger is glad to be feeling good.
Paige Ballinger had always been in good health. She had never been in the hospital for anything major in her nearly 50 years. What the Springfield woman didn’t know was that ever since birth she had the equivalent of a time bomb in her head waiting to go off.A set of cells, which normally would be associated with the respiratory tract, had formed and gotten closed off in the space with the brain and the brain stem. And they stayed there quietly for decades before ever causing a problem.The trouble started on a Thursday morning when she woke up with a stiff neck. At first, Paige thought she had slept on it the wrong way. But when she moved her neck, “it just shot a pain up near my head,”she said.
“It was definitely a 10.”
Read the rest of this entry »
The first pipeline stent procedure, which offers an alternative to open brain surgery for patients with large aneurysms, in the region was performed in December at Memorial Medical Center.
Augusto Elias, DDS, MD, a neurointerventional radiologist with Clinical Radiologists, S.C., who leads the neurointerventional team in Memorial Medical Center’s Stroke Center, performed the minimally invasive procedure, known as a pipeline stent. Dr. Elias is one of only 10 physicians in Illinois who is trained to perform this procedure. Read the rest of this entry »
Memorial Medical Center's Neurointerventional Radiology Suite
When a loved one suffers from a stroke, you know every second counts. The work of a neurointerventional radiologist could save time and lessen the chances of permanent brain damage.
Neurointerventional radiology uses minimally invasive technologies – microcatheters, balloons and stents – to diagnose and treat strokes as well as aneurysms, blood clots and tumors.
The most common type of stroke, known as an ischemic stroke, occurs because a blood clot becomes lodged in a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. This is the type of stroke that U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois suffered in January.
One way to treat these strokes is through the use of a clot-busting drug. But this drug takes time to be effective. The larger the clot, the longer the time for the drug to take effect. Read the rest of this entry »
Memorial Medical Center’s Regional Cancer Center has two top-of-the-line Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators to use during a patient’s radiation therapy.
Once treated through surgery, some brain tumors are now treated as an outpatient procedure – and without a single incision – using a linear accelerator.
Stereotactic radiosurgery, also known as bloodless brain surgery, “is a form of radiation therapy that can control and decrease the size of tumors without putting the patient through the risk involved with a standard open operation,” explained Brian Russell, MD, a neurosurgeon with Springfield Clinic during an interview with Bob Murray on radio station WTAX.
Memorial Medical Center’s Regional Cancer Center is one of only a few facilities in the nation to have two top-of-the-line Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators. These state-of-the-art machines shape the beams used for radiation therapy to treat cancer or to prevent additional tumor growth. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Neuroscience | Posted on 26-03-2012
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You’ve heard the terms – MRI, CT scan, and X-ray. Chances are you know these are imaging scans used to evaluate and diagnose patients. But do you know how and why they’re used?
Medical imaging has become a huge part of patient care, in both hospital and clinic settings. Whether it’s a bone fracture, heart complication or lump in the breast, your physician now depends on this technology for diagnosis and treatment.
Multiple types of imaging scans are used each day and understanding the difference can be confusing. Kurt Brauer, BS, RT (R) (MR), Inpatient Imaging manager at Memorial Medical Center, breaks down the major technologies below so you’ll better understand what’s involved the next time your doctor recommends a scan. Read the rest of this entry »
You can feel it coming on. Light hurts your eyes. Whispers grate on your ears. The pounding in your head reminds you of a construction zone.
Yep. It’s a migraine. And according to Benjamin Montgomery, MD, with Memorial Physician Services in Jacksonville, it can last anywhere from two to 72 hours.
“The pain is usually concentrated on one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting,” Dr. Montgomery said. “It makes you basically miserable.”
About 6 percent of men and 18 percent of women will get a migraine this year. Although it affects every age, middle-aged women are the most likely to suffer from the headaches. Read the rest of this entry »
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s ischemic stroke, which affected the right side of his brain on Saturday, has brought a lot of attention to this serious affliction that strikes nearly 800,000 people each year.
Ischemic strokes occur when blood vessels to the brain become narrowed or clogged, preventing or slowing blood flow to the brain. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice-versa. Therefore, a stroke to the right side of the brain can cause deficits – weakness or paralysis on the left side of the body, as appears to be the case for Sen. Kirk.
Do you know the signs and symptoms of stroke? Spotting a stroke is the first step toward stopping it.
FAST — the Face, Arm and Speech Test — is an easy way to quickly identify the early warning signs of a stroke. If you identify problems while giving this simple test, call 911 and seek medical help immediately. The time you save could save your life or the life of someone you love. Read the rest of this entry »