Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Smithsonian Article: Turbo-Charging Your Brain
The May, 2014 issue of Smithsonian magazine has a very interesting article, 'Turbo-Charging Your Brain' or 'Mindcraft' by David Noonan is very interesting. The article talks about the colaborative work of neurosurgeon Kelly Foote and neurologist Dr. Michael Okun in furthering the development, and use, of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to solve or improve many movement disorders. DBS can also be used to help with tremors associated with Parkinson's.
Everything about the brain interests me, but especially some of the movement disorders, some of which have a connection to hydrocephalus. Specifically Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), which is all too often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or other conditions that involve dimensia and/or gait issues. A shuffling gait and a downcast gaze are also signs of NPH. Found early, treatment can be very effective in a patient maintaining a good quality of life. However, early treatment is vital to meeting that goal. NPH gets very little discussion in the mainstream media. Just as hydrocephalus in general does.
While many in the hydrocephalus community look down on neurologists, I find it promising to see a neurosurgeon (Foote) and neurologist (Okun) working TOGETHER to find answers about what DBS can do to improve the lives of their patients. It was Okun talking in the article about a movement issue with a "shuffling gait" that caught my eye, since that is one of the key signs of NPH.
This is definitely an article to read and these are definitely some doctors to watch.