‘Creating the OR of the future’

U-M neurosurgeons continue to expand imaging technology

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It can be difficult to see everything necessary, and in great detail, during brain tumor surgery. Often, a neurosurgeon is choosing between breadth (microscope glasses known as “loupes”) and depth (a microscope sitting outside the surgical field) as the surgery goes on.

A new technology coming to our new operating rooms in July combines the two views into one, mounted on a robot. The whole surgical team will be able to see everything the surgeon sees, in high definition on a large monitor.

“This type of technology can change our perspective to further refine and improve how we do surgery,” says Karin Muraszko, M.D., chair of neurosurgery at U-M.

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Don’t cheat on good sleep during Super Bowl weekend

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Many of us will stay up late this Sunday night to watch the Super Bowl (It’s projected to end around 10:30 p.m.). Even though we’ll be cheering on the couch past the time we’re normally in our bed, those job, school, and family obligations will still require most of us to wake up early on Monday.

The good news: it’s possible to avoid cheating yourself on sleep while catching the big game.

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8 more therapies and treatments for Parkinson’s

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More_Parkinson_treatmentsMost neurologists treat people who have Parkinson’s disease with a medication called carbidopa/levodopa or Sinemet, as it is known by its brand name. We also offer several new FDA-approved therapies, surgery and other therapies that can greatly improve the quality of a patient’s life.

Recommendations will depend upon the course of the disease, the patient’s medical history and the neurologist’s estimation of which option is best for this particular patient.

New FDA-approved Parkinson’s therapies

Neurologists typically use these therapies in more advanced Parkinson’s disease or in special circumstances. Both therapies aim to increase “on” time, while reducing “off” time. “On” time refers to periods when Parkinson’s symptoms are adequately controlled. “Off” time refers to periods of the day when the medication is not working well, making symptoms worse.  Continue reading

A revolution in MS treatment

Advances in the past 20 years have improved prospects for many with MS

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Actress Jamie Lynn Sigler recently revealed she’s been dealing with multiple sclerosis (MS) for 15 years, since she was 20 years old and starring in “The Sopranos.”

People across the country were wondering, ‘How did this successful and busy actress keep her MS diagnosis a secret from the press?’ Sigler said in interviews she was symptom-free for a long time, and now takes medication to keep her symptoms stable.

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Coming soon to your checkup: A check for depression

U-M Depression Center Executive Director Supports New Recommendation for Screening in the General Adult Population

stethbrainsmToday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) put out a recommendation suggesting expanded screenings for depression in the general adult population, including pregnant and postpartum women.

It stated that “screenings should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.”  This was an update of the 2009 USPSTF recommendation on screening for depression in adults.

John Greden, M.D., executive director of the U-M Depression Center, strongly endorses these recommendations. Read on for his thoughts:

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Best medications for Parkinson’s

Senior women exercisingAccording to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, approximately 7 to 10 million people live with Parkinson’s disease. Naturally, patients and families want to learn more about the best medications and treatments for this life-changing illness. This article concerns medications that may help or control the poor motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. These symptoms can include tremor, slow movement, stiffness, difficulty with gait and posture, and a feeling of weakness.

Best medicine: Exercise

It is a fact that the patients who exercise do so much better than those who don’t. Recent research has suggested that even simple daily activities, such as routine housework, can provide benefit in motor symptoms. This should be paired with exercise, as well.

I believe that all patients with Parkinson’s disease should be involved in scheduled, safe exercise. It’s as good as any medication we can provide.  Continue reading