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Sackler Brain and Spine Institute

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The Sackler Brain and Spine Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center brings together expertise and compassion in the treatment of neurological disorders. We use a team approach to providing care in which physicians and other healthcare practitioners from multiple specialties collaborate to customize the most effective plan of care for every patient.

The latest diagnostic and treatment technologies are used at the Sackler Institute. These include advanced imaging systems, sophisticated brain monitoring equipment, and minimally invasive surgical techniques -- all to ensure that our patients receive care based on the latest medical and surgical advances.

Clinical Services


Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders

Alzheimer's disease -- the leading cause of dementia in America -- and other memory disorders affect not only patients, but their families as well. We have special expertise in the assessment and treatment of Alzheimer's and other memory disorders. A multidisciplinary team of neurologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, nurses, social workers, genetic counselors, and rehabilitation specialists provides compassionate and respectful care to patients, based on the latest medical advances. Therapy may include medication, rehabilitation, and social activities. Support services are available for family members and caregivers as well. Our investigators are also conducting clinical studies and laboratory research to uncover the causes of Alzheimer's disease and dementia and to develop ways to prevent and cure memory disorders.

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Brain & Spine Trauma

Our neurosurgeons and neurocritical care specialists are trained to quickly stabilize, diagnose, and treat patients suffering from brain or spinal trauma. Neurosurgeons are available 24/7 and are ready to respond to emergencies. Patients with significant injuries benefit from treatment in our Neurological Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU), which brings together specially trained medical staff, 24/7 surveillance, advanced monitoring techniques, and specialized medical and surgical treatments focused on improving the outcomes of patients with brain or spinal trauma. Our hospital includes a New York State-designated Level 1 Adult Trauma Program and a Level 1 Regional Pediatric Trauma Program, with specially trained trauma teams available to treat the most severely injured patients.

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Brain Tumors (Neuro-Oncology)

Our Brain Tumor Center is one of the busiest brain tumor programs in the country. Our team includes highly experienced neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, neuro-radiologists, neuro-pathologists, and other specialists who collaborate to provide integrated and compassionate medical, surgical, and supportive care tailored to each patient. We employ the most advanced technologies to care for patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent tumors, including minimally invasive surgery (with special expertise in skull base surgery), radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Patients with primary tumors as well as those with metastatic disease (cancer that spreads to the brain or spine from other sites) have access to a wide range of clinical trials, including studies assessing new anticancer agents and novel ways of administering therapy. We also understand that the management of brain tumors has a major impact on the lives of patients and their families, and we offer psychosocial support services to assist during this challenging time.

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Child Neurology & Neurosurgery

Our highly experienced pediatric neurologists and neurosurgeons provide compassionate, family-centered care for children with the full range of neurological diseases and disorders. The team ensures that children receive optimal treatment that takes into account not only the disease, but also its lifetime implications. Special centers include those focusing on epilepsy, neurofibromatosis, concussion, brain and spinal cord tumors, craniofacial abnormalities, chronic headaches, sleep disorders, and movement/balance disorders. Our experts offer young patients the best opportunity to enjoy a normal transition from childhood to adulthood. Back to top

Epilepsy

People with epilepsy need more than just effective therapy. They require a comprehensive system of support offered by a team of seasoned professionals with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. We are leaders in the field of epilepsy research and treatment and have an extraordinary track record in the management of patients with difficult-to-control (intractable) seizures. As a Level 4 Comprehensive Epilepsy Center (designated by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, and the highest rank attainable), we offer the best care available from a multidisciplinary team of specialists dedicated to epilepsy management. Our physicians, nurses, social workers, and therapists work together to individualize treatment for every patient. We are also committed to supporting and educating patients, their caregivers, and the community about life with epilepsy. Many of our experts are further specialized in the treatment of women, children, adolescents, and older adults, as well as epilepsy in people with HIV and psychiatric disease. For patients with severely intractable epilepsy, we offer opportunities to participate in clinical trials of new antiseizure medications, surgical approaches, brain-stimulating devices, and other promising treatments.

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Headache

We have exceptional expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of headaches, beginning with the identification of the type of headache, including migraines and tension headaches, as well as those due to other causes. Our team of neurologists thoroughly assesses each patient, starting with a detailed history of headache symptoms, followed by medical imaging for patients who need it. We optimize treatment to each patient, offering medications, botulinum (Botox®) injections when appropriate, and education about lifestyle changes to help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Our center has special expertise in the management of chronic migraines and headaches in women and adolescents.

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Multiple Sclerosis & Immune System Disorders

We offer expert diagnosis and comprehensive care for people with multiple sclerosis and other immune-related neurological disorders (such as Behcet's disease, neuromyelitis optica, neurosarcoidosis, and vasculitis). Specialists from different fields -- including neurology, urology, psychiatry, neuropsychology, rehabilitative medicine, physical and occupational therapy, social work, and nursing -- work together to care for each patient. We use the latest diagnostic methods and therapies to maximize function, improve quality of life, and increase independence through rehabilitation services. Patients also have the opportunity to participate in clinical studies assessing new therapies to limit disease progression and restore function.

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Neurocritical Care

Our hospital includes a Neurological Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU) that brings together specially trained medical staff, 24/7 surveillance, advanced monitoring techniques, and specialized medical and surgical treatments for patients with stroke and other neurological problems requiring intensive and immediate care (including seizures, neuromuscular disorders, brain and spinal cord infections, and tumors). The Neuro-ICU combines the skills of neurocritical care specialists, neurosurgeons, endovascular surgeons, neuroradiologists, and nurses who work to immediately identify, correct, or even reverse worsening medical conditions that might otherwise lead to permanent brain damage.

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Neuromuscular Disorders

Neuromuscular diseases can cause pain, weakness, numbness, and sometimes more severe symptoms such as difficulty talking, eating, or breathing. Our neurologists, neurosurgeons, and rehabilitation medicine specialists care for patients with peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain and weakness), myopathy (muscle weakness), Guillain-Barre syndrome and myasthenia gravis, tailoring comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation plans for each patient. Psychosocial support is available to help patients and their families adapt to living with a chronic neuromuscular disorder. Since neuromuscular diseases are often related to other underlying health problems, our specialists also work closely with clinicians in other specialties to coordinate all the aspects of each patient's care.

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Parkinson's Disease & Movement Disorders

We care for one of the world's largest populations of patients with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. Our physicians are experts at diagnosing and treating common and rare movement disorders, and are at the forefront of both basic and clinical research to develop new tools to manage these diseases. Our multidisciplinary team of specialists includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, nurses, therapists, genetic counselors, and social workers, who collaborate to ensure that each patient receives optimal care. Medical treatment, surgical therapies (such as deep brain stimulation), and rehabilitation services are provided by our experienced team to minimize symptoms and help patients regain function. We also offer psychosocial support to patients and their families during what can be a lengthy treatment process. Patients have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials assessing new therapies as well.

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Sleep Disorders

Insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders deprive many people of the high-quality sleep that is essential for good health and overall wellness. Our Center for Sleep Medicine features one of the few multidisciplinary teams in the country who collaborate to assess each patient and tailor a personalized plan of care to provide restorative sleep, using techniques such as airway support devices, medication, behavioral therapy, and lifestyle modifications. The team includes specialists in neurology, internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, ear nose and throat (ENT), psychiatry, psychology, bariatric surgery, nutrition, and endocrinology. Overnight and daytime sleep studies using state-of-the-art sleep-recording equipment are performed in a private, peaceful, and relaxing environment. The Center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and attracts clients from all over the world.

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Spine (Neck & Back)

Our team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, physiatrists, pain management specialists, and physical therapists works together to develop a personalized plan of care for each patient with back or neck pain or injury. In most cases, the spine team initially treats patients using nonsurgical approaches, such as physical therapy and pain management. When surgery becomes an option, however, our highly experienced spine neurosurgeons utilize minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. With less invasive surgery, patients benefit from smaller incisions, fewer complications after the operation, shorter hospital stays, and a quicker recovery. Excellent rehabilitation services are also available on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Our spine team strives to help patients regain function and get back to their regular daily activities as quickly as possible.

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Stroke & Cerebrovascular Disease

We offer one of the region's leading programs for the comprehensive care of patients with strokes, aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, and carotid artery disease. Our experienced physicians care for patients using the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies available. This includes advanced imaging tools, such as magnetic resonance angiography and electrodiagnostic testing, and minimally invasive endovascular techniques, such as clot removal for stroke treatment and endovascular coiling for aneurysms. Our specialty-trained vascular neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, and neurocritical care specialists work as a team to achieve the best outcomes for our patients. We maintain 24/7 physician and nursing coverage to respond to emergencies, administer time-critical therapies, and provide round-the-clock patient surveillance -- critical elements, given that prompt treatment for stroke and other cerebrovascular emergencies is vital.

We have been designated by the New York State Department of Health as a Stroke Center, and received the Gold Plus Award for superior stroke care from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Back to top

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