An Inside Look at the Neurology Department

Date: January 24, 2020

Tell us about the services offered in the Neurology department at BID–Needham.

Our physicians all see general neurology patients, but also have specialty training in stroke, epilepsy, movement disorders and neuromuscular disorders. In addition, we have experienced neurologists performing Electromyogram (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Study (NCS) and interpreting Electroencephalography (EEG) tests.

What is the profile of the patients you see?

Our patients are those 18 and older with either diagnosed or undiagnosed neurologic conditions, including diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease, cervical and lumbar radiculopathy, epilepsy, essential tremor, Lewy body dementia, migraine, neuropathy, Parkinson's disease, stroke and tension-type headaches, or symptoms of difficulty walking, dizziness, headaches, loss of consciousness, memory problems, tingling, tremor and weakness.

As the new chief of the department, what is your vision for Neurology at the hospital?

One of our priorities is to improve appointment access, particularly for new patients. We've already made great improvements in the patient experience with our new Outpatient Clinical Center.

Are there any new and innovative treatments in neurology?

There are a number of exciting new treatments available for certain neurologic conditions, although neurology as a branch of medicine remains behind other specialties in curative therapies. For example, three migraine-specific medications were recently approved—these are monthly injectables that were designed to specifically target migraine pathways, and are quite effective for many patients for whom other migraine treatments have failed. There are several fairly new medications used in Parkinson's disease to help with both the motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms of this disorder.

What are the benefits of having the new Outpatient Clinical Center on the BID–Needham campus?

The new Outpatient Clinical Center provides a beautiful new space for our clinic, expanding our waiting room, shortening wait times and improving patient experience in the neurology clinic.

What are the benefits of having a community hospital so close to home?

Patients love coming to see us in Needham—it's the same care as in a tertiary care center in Boston, in a more convenient setting.

What are the trends around neurology going forward?

There is a lot of interest at this time in research to diagnose neurodegenerative diseases—such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease—earlier, and then to stop or slow down the disease process to prevent the full clinical syndrome from developing, or at least delay symptom onset. There is interest in stem cells and vaccines. There have also been occasional successes in gene therapy or designer drugs, such as the novel migraine medications designed specifically to target the pathways of certain diseases.

If you look five years down the road, what do you think you’ll see in neurology?

I'm hopeful that we'll be closer towards prevention or reversal of neurodegenerative disease. I do expect that we will have more treatment options for our most common neurologic conditions.

For more on the Neurology department, visit www.bidneedham.org/departments... or call 781-453-7730.