Goodbye, summer—hello, fall! We’ve been busy over the past few months here at Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and we’re excited for fall. But first, we’d like to share our most memorable stories of the summer. Here are the highlights:
Our neurosurgeons never settle. They always push ahead. The latest example is Dr. Christopher Winfree. Being an expert at nerve biopsies, he refined a technique used to sample a nerve in order to diagnose motor neuron disease. Motor neuron disease is a condition that affects nerves, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig disease. The refined biopsy technique is easier to perform and less risky for patients.
Success stories warm the heart. And our hearts could not be warmer after hearing how patient Vito Randazzo, who suffered from severe depression, is back to living life. Vito’s story was featured on CBS Evening News as part of a series on mental health. Vito had tried psychotherapy, medication and other conservative treatments for his depression, to no avail, so he turned to Dr. Sameer Sheth. Dr. Sheth recommended deep brain stimulation, a technique typically used to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson disease. Deep brain stimulation gave Vito the boost he needed. He says, “I’m living life again.”
Timing is everything when it comes to treating a stroke. Shaving off even a few minutes can make a difference. That’s why Dr. Philip Meyers joined with his colleagues to pen guidelines for how to treat a type of stroke called emergent large vessel occlusion—and treat it fast. The guidelines outline what should be done every step of the way to maximize efficiency and patient recovery.
We have great news for those affected by glioblastoma, a common but hard-to-treat brain tumor: The William Rhodes and Louise Tilzer-Rhodes Center for Glioblastoma is up and running. The Center will be devoted to conducting research for this difficult disease and providing the latest treatments. Department Chair Dr. Robert Solomon and Brain Tumor Center Co-Director Dr. Jeffrey Bruce will each have prominent roles at the Center.
For patient Martha Strange, a shaky knee was the first sign of Parkinson disease, a disorder that affects movement. Gradually, more tremors developed and walking became difficult. Medication helped for awhile, but eventually she found herself unable to do her favorite activities, including playing with her granddaughter. That’s when Director of Epilepsy and Movement Disorder Surgery Dr. Guy McKhann stepped in. He performed a procedure called deep brain stimulation, and now Martha is back to living her full life.
Learn more about these Columbia neurosurgeons at their bio pages below.
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