The neurology team at Iowa Health - Des Moines Physicians & Clinics recently expanded access to its subspecialty care services. Seven fellowship-trained neurologists at its Methodist Plaza Specialty Clinic provide comprehensive neurology consultations - from the important first step of an accurate diagnosis to the creation of a highly personalized patient care plan.
The Methodist Plaza Specialty Clinic, part of Iowa Health - Des Moines Physicians & Clinics, has long been dedicated to outstanding neurologic care. With the recent addition of two new neurologists at the Methodist Plaza Specialty Clinic - Amro El Feki, M.D., and Weeraworn Nakarawat, M.D. - Iowa Health - Des Moines Physicians & Clinics has added access for epileptic and neurological care in central Iowa. A seventh neurologist, Dr. Peter Bartels, will join the clinic on August 1, 2012.
The Iowa Health - Des Moines team includes physicians who are fellowship-trained in epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson's disease, neuromuscular diseases, multiple sclerosis and neuro-oncology. Methodist Plaza Specialty Clinic's nursing staff also has extensive education and experience caring for patients with neurological disorders.
Elite Epilepsy Care
Methodist Plaza's two epilepsy specialists evaluate patients who are experiencing spells, then provide a specific diagnosis and then select the best therapy.
An additional diagnosis technique we have available is long-term video electroencephalography (EEG) for patients in the dedicated Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. Iowa Methodist Medical Center has the only dedicated EMU in central Iowa. The video EEG technology allows neurologists to record brainwaves for up to five days at a time, analyzing any spells that occur. In some cases, the video EEG can help pinpoint spells that are non-epileptic events.
"Often, patients who are having non-epileptic attacks or pseudo-seizures are misdiagnosed because of limited diagnostic testing," says Mostafa Hammoudi, M.D., Medical Director of Iowa Methodist Medical Center's Neurophysiology Lab. "These patients are then prescribed seizure medications, to which they will not respond. With our advanced capabilities, we are better able to provide a specific diagnosis."
Following careful evaluation of diagnostic results and potential concerns such as depression, Iowa Health - Des Moines neurologists - in collaboration with other physicians - determine the treatment for each patient. Nearly 20 medications are available today to help manage acute episodes and normalize brainwave frequencies in complex cases of intractable epilepsy.
Epileptologists may prescribe alternative therapies such as lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy or vagus nerve stimulation - a therapy designed to regulate the electrical impulses that cause seizures.
Optimal Stroke Care
The treatment of cerebrovascular disorders often requires insight from multiple specialties and brings together neurologists, internists, vascular specialists, emergency personnel and other physicians. Because stroke care usually begins in the hospital setting, Iowa Methodist Medical Center's accredited stroke center has provided comprehensive education and standardized protocols for its emergency and nursing staffs and for health care providers across the entire continuum of care.
"We enhanced protocols for EMS personnel and worked with emergency department staff to quickly evaluate patients and expedite stroke care," says Calvin Hansen, M.D., Medical Director of the Stroke Center. "Our inpatient nurses in both the intensive care unit and the stroke unit are familiar with both the symptoms and the secondary consequences of stroke."
Patients who receive stroke care at a designated stroke center benefit from well-established, coordinated practices that facilitate the rapid administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Timely administration of tPA effectively limits the damage caused by ischemic strokes. Emergency staff begins the evaluation process while neurologists expeditiously diagnose and initiate therapy. The stroke center focuses on prevention of secondary problems related to stroke, such as deep vein thrombosis, pneumonia, bladder infections and blood clots.
"We strive to provide our patients with the very best neurology care without needing to send them elsewhere," says Dr. Hammoudi. "Having everything available right here is a great thing."
Visit www.iowahealth.org/neurology to discover all the services available through the neurology services team at Methodist Plaza Specialty Clinic, part of UnityPoint Health - Des Moines Physicians & Clinics.
Source: Adapted from MD News, Central Iowa edition, May/June 2012