Posts tagged ‘neuroscience’

Advancing to the next level of technology

With the addition of the new Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™, Penn State Hershey Medical Center welcomes the first significant advance in Gamma Knife technology in the past thirty years. Gamma Knife surgery is a well-established method used to treat selected targets in the brain. More than 50,000 patients undergo Gamma Knife surgery every year.

There are many additional benefits of the new stereotactic radiosurgery system. In particular, the new positioning system moves the entire table during the procedure, rather than just moving the patient’s head back and forth. This enables physicians to treat a greater area, including the upper cervical regions.

“With the current Gamma Knife technology, we have to be concerned about the location of multiple tumors,” says Sandra J. Brettler, M.S.N., R.N., C.C.R.N., C.N.R.N., nurse coordinator, neurosurgery. “Sometimes, we have to treat them twice, because we cannot reach all of the tumors in the same session. Now, with Perfexion, we can treat them all at once.” (more…)

August 23, 2012 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Putting time back on our side: LionNet advances stroke care in the region

Physician using LionNet monitor to view scansThere’s a motto in stroke care: “Time is brain.” For stroke patients, hours–even minutes–can mean the difference between an excellent recovery and permanent neurological injury. According to the National Stroke Association, in the U.S., stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, killing more than 133,000 people each year, and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.

At Penn State Hershey Stroke Center, patients receive new treatments and interventions that may reverse or reduce the effects of a stroke. Now, our stroke specialists are extending their knowledge out to the surrounding communities with the launch of the new Penn State Hershey telestroke program and network, called LionNet. Through LionNet, local community hospitals can access Penn State Hershey neurologists and neurosurgeons for real-time consultations using two-way audio-video technology. “The main benefit of this system is to allow an academic medical center [like Penn State Hershey] to integrate itself with community hospitals that don’t have the same level of advanced stroke care or who desire additional stroke support and guidance,” explains Raymond K. Reichwein, M.D., ’91, R ’96, co-director of Penn State Hershey Stroke Center, and director of the Neurology Stroke Program.

Often, local hospitals receiving a patient through the Emergency Department would like to access the level of knowledge or support available at Penn State Hershey to properly diagnose or treat a stroke. LionNet’s partnership model enables our partner community hospitals to treat more stroke patients and improve their overall outcomes through 24-7 access to Penn State Hershey Stroke Center physicians. Real-time consultations occur by simply activating the system where one of the Penn State Hershey specialists can get online to assess patients via a web cam. (more…)

July 25, 2012 at 7:45 am Leave a comment

Changing the concussion culture in the NFL

football player in pads and helmetRobert Harbaugh, M.D., ’78 has a unique vantage point as a member of an NFL subcommittee studying the long-term effects of concussions on professional football players. First, Harbaugh is a well published and highly regarded neurosurgeon who serves as director of the Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. That’s the professional part.

Second, he’s lived the experience of watching his own son play football, and has a 12-year-old transitioning from flag to tackle football. That’s the parent perspective. Third, Harbaugh himself played football in high school and college, and suffered three concussions along the way. That’s the personal piece.

All three reasons have enticed him to serve—unpaid, with no perks, no Super Bowl tickets, and no chance to mingle with football legends—as chair of this NFL subcommittee, which is part of a larger committee established by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to study head and spine injuries in football players. Harbaugh’s group is charged with developing a comprehensive database that will gather and analyze information over time to help determine what factors lead to acute and delayed neurological injuries in NFL players. (more…)

February 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm Leave a comment


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