Patient Education

Neurological Specialists, P.C. would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

Neurological Specialists, P.C. provides a full range of medical services including the following:


Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disorder that results in a loss of intellectual and social abilities; it affects memory, thinking and behavior. It is the most common form of dementia, interfering with the functioning of more than 5 million people in the United States alone. With the aging American population, Alzheimer's is expected to affect as many as three times that number during the coming decades. While aging is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer's, severe memory loss is not a natural part of the aging process. ...


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Aneurysm

An aneurysm is an abnormal bulge in the wall of an artery, an inflated balloon of blood. Aneurysms can occur in many parts of the body. They usually develop where pressure is strongest, that is, in areas where blood vessels divide and branch off. An aneurysm is extremely dangerous since it may result in rupture and subsequent hemorrhage or in the development of a serious clot. ...


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Anencephaly

Anencephaly is a congenital condition characterized by incomplete formation of the skull bones around the brain, resulting in minimal brain development. Anencephaly is caused by a defect in the closure of the neural tube during fetal development. If the neural tube does not close properly, the developing brain and spinal cord are exposed to amniotic fluid within the womb, which causes the tissue of the nervous system to degenerate. As a result, infants with anencephaly are missing large parts of their brain and bones of the skull. In most cases, babies born with anencephaly die shortly after birth. ...


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Aphasia

Aphasia is a communication disorder that leaves patients unable to effectively express or understand spoken or written language. The possibility of recovery from aphasia depends on its cause, which part of the brain is affected, and how extensive the damage is. There are many types of aphasia, and a patient may suffer from more than one type. Aphasia can result from physical or psychological trauma, or from a degenerative process. Aphasia has a variety of causes. Most commonly, the condition results from a stroke or progressive dementia. Other causes of aphasia may include: ...


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Brain Arteriovenous Malformation

A brain arteriovenous malformation, also known as a brain AVM, is a congenital condition that involves an abnormal connection between arteries and veins within the brain, causing them to appear tangled and dilated, putting patients at risk for hemorrhaging and other serious complications. AVMs may prevent oxygenated blood from completely circulating throughout the brain, causing symptoms such as headaches and vision problems. AVMs are present at birth and may occur nearly anywhere in the body, but are most common within the brain or spine. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but it is believed to develop in utero, during fetal development. Brain arteriovenous malformations are more common in males than females and some evidence suggests they may run in families. ...


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Ataxia

Ataxia is a neurological condition affecting muscle coordination, eye movements, speech, and the ability to swallow. Ataxia is usually the result of damage or degeneration within the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls muscle coordination. It is often triggered by underlying causes such trauma, disease or other conditions. Some people with ataxia are born with a genetic defect that causes brain cell degeneration over time, which is accompanied by worsening coordination problems. Many conditions can lead to brain cell damage, as these cells are also linked to the spinal cord and peripheral nerves. ...


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Balance Disorders

Normal balance requires the work of three sensory systems: the visual; the vestibular, which is located in the inner ear; and the somatosensory, which involves the muscular and skeletal systems. These systems, as well as the brain and nervous systems, can be the source of balance problems. When these systems do not function properly, vertigo, spinning, disorientation, trouble focusing the eyes, and poor balance may result. ...


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BOTOX Injections for Migraines

Although known primarily as a treatment for facial frown lines and "crow's feet," BOTOX Cosmetic, which is made from a type of bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum type A, also helps, according to the American Headache Society, to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches. Migraines are often caused by reactions to certain triggers that stimulate the production of neurotransmitters in nerve cells, producing pain and other debilitating symptoms. ...


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Brain Aneurysm Embolization

A brain aneurysm embolization, also known as endovascular coiling, is a minimally invasive treatment for a brain aneurysm. It can be used to treat aneurysms that have ruptured and those that are intact. During the procedure, a catheter is inserted into the artery and a coil is threaded through the catheter and placed within the aneurysm, cutting off the flow of blood to the aneurysm. The lack of blood flow prevents the aneurysm from rupturing or leaking. Brain aneurysm embolization is an alternative treatment method available to patients that do not qualify for surgery. ...


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Central Pain Syndrome

Central pain syndrome is a neurological disorder affecting the central nervous system. While the exact cause of central pain syndrome is unknown, this condition often affects individuals with brain injuries, tumors, strokes, epilepsy, spinal cord injuries, or multiple sclerosis. The most common symptom of central pain syndrome is a burning sensation although painful symptoms may vary greatly as the potential causes of this condition also vary. The pain experienced by individuals with central pain syndrome is often constant and can be mild, moderate, or severe in intensity. Symptoms of central pain syndrome may disrupt an individual's daily routine and dramatically affect their quality of life. ...


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Chronic Spasticity

Chronic spasticity is a muscular disorder in which patients experience persistent tightness or stiffness in certain muscles, as well as an inability to control them. Depending on which muscles are involved, spasticity may affect movement, walking ability or speech. The problem results from damage within the nervous system that disturbs the communication between the brain, the spinal cord and the muscles. ...


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Coma

A coma is a prolonged state of unconsciousness in which patients cannot react or respond to their environment, but are still alive. A coma is a medical emergency and requires prompt diagnostic testing to determine what is causing the unconscious state. Most comas do not last more than a few weeks and depending on the cause of coma, some patients may recover their normal functions again. Others may develop mental or physical disabilities as a result of a coma. People who remain in a coma for over one year are unlikely to awaken and may remain in a vegetative state for the rest of their life. ...


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Concussion

A concussion is a common type of brain injury most often caused by a direct blow to the head or sudden head movement that causes temporary brain malfunction. When the head is hit unexpectedly, the brain can move and hit the skull, affecting memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance and coordination. A concussion may also be caused by a sports related injury, a motor vehicle accident or from being violently shaken. Most concussions are considered mild injuries, and people usually fully recover from this condition. ...


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Craniopharyngioma

A craniopharyngioma is a benign tumor at the base of the brain. While the tumor is not malignant and does not metastasize, its location makes it dangerous. Near not only the brain, but the pituitary and hypothalamus glands and the optic nerve, a craniopharyngioma can result in a variety of serious symptoms. This tumor is most commonly seen in children between the ages of 5 and 10, but is sometimes observed in adults as well. Craniopharyngiomas are usually treated by surgical removal. ...


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Dementia

Dementia is not a single disorder, but rather a combination of age-related symptoms involving a loss of mental skills and deteriorating brain function. Dementia literally translates to "deprived of mind," and may be the result of several different underlying conditions, some of which are treatable and some of which are not. Patients with dementia gradually lose memory, communication skills, the ability to reason, and the facility to complete the tasks of everyday living. ...


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Dystonia

Dystonia is a movement disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause twisting and repetitive movements. These movements can sometimes be painful and may affect one or numerous muscles in the arms, legs, neck, or entire body. Some cases of dystonia are caused by other underlying conditions, while others have no connection to another disease or injury. Symptoms of dystonia may range in severity and may affect daily activities. ...


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Electromyogram

An electromyogram (EMG) is a diagnostic test that measures the electrical activity of the muscle in the body. It is often used diagnostically to determine the cause of muscle weakness and decreased muscle strength. It may also be used to differentiate muscle weakness caused by injured nerves and weakness due to neurological disorders. An electromyogram can help to diagnose certain nerve and muscle disorders that cause weakness, numbness, paralysis, or twitching of the muscles. ...


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Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by disturbances in brain activity, that results in recurrent seizures. Epilepsy may develop as a result of abnormal brain wiring, an imbalance in nerve signals, or changes in brain cells. In many cases, the cause of epilepsy is unknown, however, it may be caused by genetics, head injury, tumor, stroke, certain diseases, or prenatal brain damage. Symptoms of epileptic seizures may vary and only individuals who have experienced two or more seizures, are considered to have epilepsy. Although seizures may be mild, all forms of epilepsy should be treated, as seizures may put individuals in danger during certain activities. ...


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Epilepsy in Children

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by disturbances in brain activity, that results in recurrent seizures. Epileptic seizures can cause muscle spasms, convulsions and other troubling symptoms at any time. Epilepsy may develop as a result of abnormal brain wiring, an imbalance in nerve signals, or changes in brain cells. In many cases, the cause of epilepsy is unknown, however, it may be caused by genetics, head injury, tumor, certain diseases, or prenatal brain damage. Symptoms of epileptic seizures in children may vary and while seizures may be mild, all forms of epilepsy should be treated, as seizures may put children in danger during certain activities. ...


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Essential Tremor

Essential tremor is a type of movement disorder. This is a category of neurological conditions that involve abnormalities in the quality and quantity of spontaneous movement. Essential tremor causes involuntary shaking, particularly in the hands. The tremor tends to appear more pronounced the harder the muscles are working, such as during movement or by extending an arm. When the muscles are at rest, the tremor is typically not noticeable. The tremor may not be consistent initially, but it will frequently worsen as time goes on. In some cases, both sides of the body are not equally affected. Essential tremor is more common as people age and usually develops in people over the age of forty. ...


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Facial Paralysis

Facial paralysis involves a loss of voluntary muscle movement within the face. The facial nerve stretches down each side of the face and allows a person to laugh, cry, smile or frown when functioning properly. Facial paralysis occurs when a person is unable to move all or some of the muscles on one or both sides of the face. Facial paralysis may be the result of damage to the facial nerve or to the area of the brain that sends signals to the muscle of the face. This may be the result of a stroke or caused by a brain tumor, infection, trauma, Lyme disease or Bell's palsy. ...


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Head and Neck Computed Tomography Scan

A head and neck computed tomography (CT) scan is a noninvasive diagnostic procedure that uses multiple X-rays to create cross-sectional views of the head and neck areas. A CT scan of the head and neck enables a radiologist to see images of the neck, skull, brain, sinuses and eye sockets. A CT scan is painless, and its images are clearer and more detailed than those of a traditional X-ray. ...


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Head and Neck MRI

A head and neck magnetic resonance imaging scan, or MRI, uses a magnetic field, radiofrequency impulses and a computer to produce detailed images of the organs, soft tissues, and bones within the head and neck region. Once the images are created, they can be viewed on a computer monitor, copied to a CD or transmitted electronically. ...


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Herniated Disc

A herniated disc, also known are a ruptured or slipped disc, is a damaged spinal cushion between two bones in the spine (vertebrae). Normally, the gelatinous discs between the vertebrae hold the bones in place and act as shock absorbers, permitting the spine to bend smoothly. When a disc protrudes beyond its normal parameters and its tough outer layer of cartilage cracks, the disc is considered to be herniated. ...


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Ultrasound-Guided Joint Injections

Joint injections are a minimally invasive treatment for relieving pain caused by inflammatory joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis and gout. To reduce pain and inflammation from these conditions, medications such as corticosteroids and hyaluronic-acid preparations are sometimes injected into the problem joint. The medications affect only the targeted areas, and usually do not cause side effects. Joint injections are administered under local anesthesia, and cause only brief, mild discomfort. ...


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Learning Disabilities

A learning disability is a neurological disorder that prevents a child from learning, or significantly impairs the learning process. A learning disability is not a reflection of intelligence, and a child who has one may be of average or above-average intelligence. A child with a learning disability processes information differently from other children, and has difficulty performing specific tasks. With early diagnosis and intervention, methods can be developed to address learning difficulties and overcome the challenges that they present. ...


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Microdiscectomy

A microdiscectomy, also known as microdecompression spine surgery, is a surgical procedure that removes part of an impinged intervertebral disc in order to relieve pain, weakness and numbness throughout the body. It is usually reserved for patients with severe symptoms that do not respond to more conservative treatments, and significantly affect the patient's quality of life. ...


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Migraine Headache

Migraines are chronic headaches that affect almost 30 million people in the United States. They cause severe and sometimes debilitating pain that can last from 4 hours to 3 days and, at times, longer. Migraines are most often experienced by people between the ages of 15 and 55, with more women than men affected. Of those affected, 70 to 80 percent have a family history of migraines. ...


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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating condition that affects the central nervous system, and disrupts the communication between the brain and other parts of the body. MS is believed to be an autoimmune disease that causes the wearing away of the myelin sheath, the protective covering of the nerves, resulting in a slowing or stoppage of the transmission of nerve impulses. Symptoms of MS may vary depending on the amount of damage and the specific nerves that are affected, but it can can gradually affect vision, speech, movement, walking, and memory. MS commonly affects women more than men and is typically diagnosed in women between the ages of 20 and 40. ...


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BOTOX Injections for Muscle Spasms

BOTOX Cosmetic, which is made from a type of bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum type A, is used to block nerve signals for treatment of a wide range of conditions. Although primarily known for its cosmetic applications, BOTOX Cosmetic is an effective treatment for many medical conditions, including muscle spasms. BOTOX injections are administered directly into the affected muscle; the injection effectively blocks nerve signals sent to the muscle, keeping it from contracting. ...


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Myopathy

Myopathy, also known as disease of the muscle, occurs when the muscles of the body are attacked by the body's immune system. This attack damages the fibers of the muscles in the body leaving the body's muscles in a weakened condition. Myopathy can cause problems with muscle tone and voluntary muscle movement. Myopathy can be either genetic or acquired, and may be present at birth or develop later in life. ...


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Nerve Conduction Study

Nerve conduction study (NCS), also known as a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test, enables the diagnosis of possible nerve damage by measuring the speed with which an electrical impulse travels through a nerve. This test, often performed in conjunction with electromyography (EMG), allows the doctor to differentiate nervous system issues from musculoskeletal ones, and is invaluable in helping to establish the source of nerve damage, information that can be vital to effective treatment. Nerve conduction studies may be used to diagnose specific causes of nerve damages, including: substance abuse, nerve compression or various types of neuropathy. ...


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Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a condition characterized by damage to a nerve or a group of nerves. It causes functional problems in the affected nerves, including a loss of sensation and difficulty with movement. Neuropathy can cause damage anywhere, as the peripheral nerves branch out from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin and organs throughout the body. The nerves send messages to the brain about sensation and pain in each particular area, so if they are not functioning properly, complications can easily occur. ...


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Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a progressive motor system disorder that occurs when certain cells within the brain begin begin to degenerate or break down. In individuals with Parkinson's disease, the cells that produce a chemical called dopamine, gradually breakdown or die. Dopamine is a chemical that sends signals to the brain to control movement. As these cells diminish and the dopamine levels decrease, the disease progresses and patients gradually lose control of their movements. While there is no cure currently available for Parkinson's disease, there are treatments available to control symptoms and improve quality of life. ...


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Physical Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating condition that affects the central nervous system, and disrupts the communication between the brain and other parts of the body. MS is believed to be an autoimmune disease that causes the wearing away of the myelin sheath, the protective covering of the nerves, resulting in a slowing or stoppage of the transmission of nerve impulses. Symptoms of MS may vary depending on the amount of damage and the specific nerves that are affected, but it can can gradually affect vision, speech, movement, walking, and memory. MS commonly affects women more than men and is typically diagnosed in women between the ages of 20 and 40. ...


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Spasmodic Dysphonia

Spasmodic dysphonia, also known as laryngeal dystonia, is a rare neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle spasms of the larynx (voice box). Spasmodic dysphonia causes the voice to break, or to have a tight, strained or strangled quality. Patients with spasmodic dysphonia may have difficulty communicating clearly. The disorder appears most often in people between 30 and 50 years of age, and more frequently in women. It is a chronic lifetime condition whose cause is unknown. ...


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Speech Disorders


Speech disorders can affect children from an early age, or they may develop later in life following trauma or injury. Most speech disorders are defined as the difficulty or inability to form speech sounds for communicating. Some speech disorders are just part of slower development in children and may go away on their own as the child gets older. Other children with speech problems or disorders that do not improve, may need speech therapy. ...


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Hypersomnia

Hypersomnia is a condition characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness. Patients with hypersomnia have trouble staying awake during the day or sleep excessively during the night. Up to 40 percent of the population experiences symptoms of hypersomnia at some point in their lives.

Symptoms of Hypersomnia

The symptoms of hypersomnia are troubling and often dangerous. They interfere with work or school, relationships, and everyday life. These symptoms, which most often first appear in adolescence, include: ...


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Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a kind of external-beam radiation therapy capable of precisely targeting small areas within the body. Although its name would suggest that SRS is an invasive procedure, there is actually no cutting involved. Initially developed for use on tumors and lesions in the brain, SRS is now sometimes used to shrink or slow the growth of tumors in other parts of the body, when it is referred to as stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). ...


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Stroke

A stroke occurs when there is a reduction in the flow of blood to the brain. The lack of blood supply may be the result of a blockage in an artery or a burst blood vessel in the brain. A stroke deprives brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients, causing brain cells to die. A stroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention by a medical professional. Prompt treatment can minimize damage to the brain and prevent further complications. There are two different categories of strokes, ischemic and hemorrhagic. The more common type of stroke is ischemic, which accounts for approximately 85 percent of all strokes. Common types of ischemic strokes include thrombotic and embolic. ...


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Stuttering

Stuttering, or stammering, is a complex, multidimensional speech disorder that affects nearly four million people in the United States. Stuttering occurs most commonly in children, between the ages of 2 and 6, as their language skills begin to develop. Approximately five percent of all children will stutter at some point in their lives. Stuttering affects three times as many boys as girls and they are more likely to continue to stutter as they age. Over the course of time, 70 to 80 percent of children who stutter will outgrow stuttering. Less than one percent of adults in the United States stutter. ...


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Dysphagia

Dysphagia, also known as swallowing disorders, is not uncommon. Because the swallowing process is vital to gastrointestinal health, and because the throat functions as a pathway for respiration as well as ingestion, swallowing disorders are not only uncomfortable, but at times life-threatening. Swallowing is a very complex bodily function, requiring the active response of several nerves and muscles, two muscular valves, and the esophagus as food moves from the mouth to the stomach. The process is separated into three phases: oral, pharyngeal (throat) and esophageal. The second two phases involve the proper working of the epiglottis, a flap over the trachea designed to prevent food or drink from entering the airway. When there is dysfunction of the epiglottis, choking and aspiration of food can result, creating a potential hazard. Older individuals are more commonly affected by swallowing difficulties because of weaker teeth and muscles, increased possibility of acid reflux and slower peristaltic contractions. ...


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Tourette Syndrome

Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by repeated involuntary movements and vocalizations called "tics." Although not medically dangerous, it causes serious social and psychological difficulties for those who have it because of its unusual, often disabling, symptoms. Typical onset for Tourette's is between the ages of 3 and 9, with males 3 to 4 times more likely to be affected than females. ...


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Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Vagus nerve stimulation is a therapeutic treatment that sends electric signals to the brain through a small device that is implanted underneath the skin of the chest. This device, known as as a vagus nerve stimulator, sends pulses of electrical energy to the vagus nerve and to the brain, which helps to inhibit seizures in many patients with epilepsy. The vagus nerve is one of twelve cranial nerves in the brain, and it sends messages from the brain to the body's major organs including the heart, lungs and intestines, and to areas of the brain that control mood, sleep, and other functions. Some research has indicated that when stimulated by electrical impulses, the vagus nerve sends messages to the brain that help to stop seizures from occurring, and may also help to control mood in people suffering from depression. ...


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Vertigo

Vertigo is the sensation of spinning or dizziness, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting, that occurs as a result of problems within the brain or the inner ear. People with vertigo feel as if their surroundings are moving although no movement is actually occurring. Vertigo is one of the most common health problems in the United States; it affects many adults during their lifetimes. ...


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Video Electroencephalogram (EEG)

A video electroencephalogram is a diagnostic test used on patients with epilepsy to monitor seizures and record important data about them. This test, which takes place in a hospital setting, makes use of a split screen on a computer to visualize a video recording of the patient while simultaneously displaying EEG readings of the patient's brain activity. ...


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Wilson Disease

Wilson disease, also known as copper storage disease or hepatolenticular degeneration, is a rare genetic disorder in which excess copper accumulates in the body. While copper in small amounts is necessary for healthy functioning, the body normally excretes any excess. Under normal circumstances, the liver releases extra copper into bile in the digestive tract. ...


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