Urgent spine surgery spells relief

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When his doctors asked Samuel Jones to rate his back and spine pain on a scale from 1 to 10, he said it was 15 to 20. And it’s no surprise. Jones, a retired patent agent from Midland, Michigan, had had an operation to repair a ruptured disc in 1974 with no further problems. Then, when he came back in 2014 from a wonderful vacation with his family in Hawaii, everything was different.

“I went from a little pain now and then to excruciating pain,” Jones says. He couldn’t walk without help. He couldn’t go up or down stairs. To make matters worse, it was hard to diagnose his problem because his previous quadruple bypass and pacemaker prevented an MRI.  Continue reading

Don’t do this if you want a good night’s sleep

World Sleep Day is March 18, 2016

Sleep is crucial for our health and well-being, and research shows this. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours every day to function properly, but many people don’t get all they need. In celebration of World Sleep Day, March 18, 2016, the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center is offering a few tips to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Instead of counting sheep, look at how you may be sabotaging your sleep and then strive to change your habits.

Recipe for a Good Night's Sleep


Next steps for sleep

Neurosciences logoThe University of Michigan’s multidisciplinary neuroscience team is made up of more than 70 nationally recognized neurologists and neurosurgeons. Leading the way in brain, spine and nervous system care for close to 100 years, patients have access to services that can be found at only a handful of places as well as cutting-edge treatments with the latest research. Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Michigan Health System have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report numerous times for excellence in patient care.

 

 

Top 6 causes of neuropathy

Neuropathy is a common neurological problem

Neuropathy is a common neurological problem

If you have neuropathy—a disease of one or more peripheral nerves that causes numbness, pain and even weakness—you’ll be happy to know that there is help within reach and possibly factors within your control.

There are six main causes of neuropathy, which is now the second main neurological condition, after headache:
1. Diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy
Diabetes causes about half of all neuropathies. Even pre-diabetes is of concern to physicians because it leads so often to diabetes.

Treatment of the diabetes can slow down the progression of neuropathy—and also help people with all the other things that diabetes can affect, like eyesight, kidney problems, strokes and heart attacks.

If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, diet and exercise will benefit you greatly.  Continue reading

20 ways to fight fatigue in Parkinson’s disease

Parkinsons_fatigueAbout two-thirds of people with Parkinson’s disease report that they feel fatigued or tired. Here are several suggestions for combating fatigue. Try one or several, depending upon your symptoms.

  1. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
  2. Ask your bed partner if you snore. You could have sleep apnea.
  3. Develop good sleep habits by going to bed and waking up at about the same time every day.
  4. Minimize bright screens (TV, iPads, cell phones, etc.) within 1-2 hours of going to bed.
  5. If you are getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, don’t drink water before bed. Continue reading

Every rare diagnosis reaffirms importance of research

Rare Disease Day is Feb. 29

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Heather Hawkins enjoys as normal a life as she can, while dealing with a rare condition called ARSACS.

Every time he treats a patient with a rare condition, Vikram Shakkottai is reminded that these rare diseases might affect more people than we think.

The neurologist and director of the University of Michigan Health System’s Ataxia Clinic has seen a spectrum of symptoms from one patient to the next who have the same diagnoses. It’s why he believes advancing research and genetic testing is so important.

Dr. Shakkottai pursued genetic testing with patient Heather Hawkins, who came to see him a few years ago to talk about trouble keeping her balance. Continue reading

Marathon-running mom faces rare spinal cord tumor

February 29 is Rare Disease Day

In her third trimester, Aimee Garrison finally became convinced the soreness and tension across herAimee Preg Sloane Jogging stroller shoulder blades and into her back had to be more than just part of being pregnant.

“I had been running and lifting weights all the way up to 26 weeks,” the marathoner from Kalamazoo says, “so I slowed down, but it didn’t get better. Soon I was having trouble sleeping and keeping up with my toddler.”

Eventually, an MRI revealed Aimee was one of the less than 2,000 adults each year who find out they have a spinal cord ependymoma. A tumor the size of a baby carrot had been slowly growing in Aimee’s spinal cord, pushing her spinal cord against her vertebrae. Continue reading