By definition, Neuroscience is study of the nervous system, including the brain, the spinal cord and networks of peripheral nerves that serve the body. However only in recent decades has neuroscience become a recognized discipline that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, physics and psychology.
Aventura Hospital and Medical Center was the first facility in Miami-Dade County to receive the certification of Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission.
In 2011, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center was certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the State Agency for Health Care Administration making it one of only three centers in Miami-Dade County with this designation, which nationally recognizes the hospital for providing the highest quality of care for patients diagnosed with stroke. The stroke intervention team routinely meets and surpasses the principles for stroke care by:
- exceeding the national average of 90 minutes for patients receiving treatment from their arrival at the Emergency Department;
- working with a neuro-interventionist, neurosurgeon and neurologist to assist in identifying key symptoms, diagnosing patients and quickly assessing treatment options to improve patient outcomes;
- providing stroke-specific care in its Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit outfitted with specially trained nurses and staff; and
- including an all-encompassing post-stroke plan of care.
Our team of skilled technicians, nurses and physicians work diligently to provide you with the best continuum of care from preventative medicine through surgery and recovery.
- Neurologists who diagnose and treat conditions of the nervous system
- Stroke Neurologists who diagnose and treat ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke
- Neurosurgeons who perform surgery on every part of the nervous system
- Neuro-interventionists who use a non-surgical, catheter-based approach—similar to cardiac catheterization for heart disease—to treat vascular (blood vessel) diseases that affect the nervous system
- Neuroradiologists who use imaging—X-rays, CT scans, MRIs—to help diagnose the disease or disorder
- Radiation Oncologists who treat tumors and certain other disorders with radiation
Enhancing the multi-disciplinary team are those who care for patients at the bedside and provide ongoing assessments of patients’ physical, rehabilitation and post-hospital needs. These specialists include:
- Neurosurgical physician assistants
- Nurse practitioners
- Critical care nurses
- Physical and occupational therapists
Common Neurological Conditions
Epilepsy is a brain disorder where a person suffers from repeated seizures or convulsions. It usually begins between the ages of 5 and 20, but it can happen at any age. Common causes include strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, brain injury, infections such as meningitis, encephalitis, etc., congenital brain defects, brain tumors, abnormal blood vessels in the brain, or due to other illness that damages the brain tissue. Since symptoms vary from one person to the other one, some people experience symptoms such as simple staring spells and others may experience violent shaking and loss of alertness.
A stroke also called “brain attack” occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. When blood flow is stopped for more than a few seconds, the brain cannot get blood oxygen, so brain cells can die, therefore causing permanent damage. Two major types of stroke are ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes occurs when a blood clot bocks a vessel that supplies blood to the brain. Hemorrhagic stroke is when blood leaks into the brain to a weak blood vessel that bursts open. The number one risk factor for strokes is high blood pressure. Other major risk factors include atrial fibrillation, diabetes, having a family history of stroke, high cholesterol, age 55 and older, living an unhealthy lifestyle, and people with heart disease or poor flow in their legs caused by narrow arteries.
Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes shaking (tremors), walking and movement coordination difficulties due to the destruction of the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical that helps control muscle movement. A person has a higher risk of acquiring Parkinson’s disease if there is a history in the family of the disease or if a person is over the age of 50. It is one of the most common disorders of the elderly and both men and women are equally at risk. Sometimes it can occur in younger adults.
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. Dementia refers to a loss of brain function. The disease affects memory, behavior and thinking. There are two types of Alzheimer’s disease, one is called in early onset AD and the other one is late onset AD. In early onset AD symptoms appear before age 60 and the disease tend to progress rapidly. Late onset AD is the most common form of the disease and it develops in people age 60 and older.
Dementia is a loss of brain function that affects memory, thinking, behavior, language and judgment. The disease usually occurs in people of older age and it can be due to many small strokes. Dementia occurs due to several diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Progressive supranuclear palsy, HIV/AIDS or Lyme disease.
Neuro-intervention is a sub-specialty of neuroscience which specializes in the treatment of neurological disorders using minimally-invasive techniques with angiography machines. Where neurosurgeons traditionally cut, a neuro-interventionist can treat a disease endovascularly, or from within the blood vessels, by threading catheters to the brain and spinal cord.
For our patients who suffer from strokes, the stroke management services at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center is equipped with techniques that allow cleaning the arteries and re-establishing flow of blood to the brain, therefore limiting the damage caused by a stroke.
Stroke is caused by the blockage of a main cerebral blood vessel or artery. The most common stroke and mini-stroke symptoms are weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg muscle on one side of the body. Inability to speak, unexplained dizziness, vertigo or problems with balance and coordination are also general symptoms. There is a 25% chance of having a stroke within the first 30 days of suffering from a mini stroke (TIA).
Through endovascular means, the neuroscience team at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center can restore blood flow to the brain using catheters and other minimally invasive techniques. Merci Clot Retrieval and Penumbra are some of the procedures performed by our expert surgeons at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center which remove and break up blood clots from the brain and return blood flow to the area. These types of procedures are used on patients that have suffered from acute ischemic stroke, which is the most common type, accounting for about 80% of all strokes.
If you feel that you may be suffering from symptoms of a stroke, dial 911 immediately.
Cerebral hemorrhages are frequently caused by the rupture of an aneurism, which are blockages in the vessels of the brain caused by blood clots. These clots can be removed using coilings, a minimally invasive endovascular procedure performed by our highly qualified team of surgeons to promote blood clotting and close the aneurysm. The primary purpose of endovascular coiling is to isolate the aneurysm from the normal circulation without narrowing the main vessel or blocking off any arteries. This procedure is a very effective treatment for patients who suffer from ruptured or un-ruptured aneurysms.
Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) is a tangle malformed blood vessels. This medical condition disrupts normal blood flow in the brain and is the leading cause of stroke in younger generation. It is estimated that more than 90% of patients suffering from AVM survive with the correct treatment. The current treatments available are surgical removal (resection), stereotactic radiosurgery, and endovascular embolization. Our highly skilled team of neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists and neurologists at the state-of-the-art facility in Aventura Hospital and Medical Center will work to develop the appropriate treatment plan for each individual patient.
Intracranial stenting is a procedure considered medically necessary to treat some patients who have had an aneurysm or suffer from intracranial atherosclerotic disease.
This procedure has provided major advancements in the endovascular treatment of wide-necked aneurysms by supporting coils used to fill an aneurysm or by diverting the blood flow away from an aneurysm. Stents provide the structure needed to a blood vessel to maintain healthy blood flow and reduce the risk of ruptures.
Patients diagnosed with atherosclerotic disease who suffer from recurrent symptoms despite medical intervention are largely helped by this procedure. Intracranial stenting reopens blood vessels that have become narrow due to atherosclerotic disease, providing better blood flow and greatly reducing the risk of stroke.
For our patients who have suffered a stroke or require a stroke prevention option, the neurosciences team can perform a minimally invasive procedure called carotid stenting. This procedure opens the clogged carotid arteries, which are the main arteries that supply blood to the brain.
Since each patient is different, our experts at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center create specific plans to treat individual cases. The use of this procedure may be recommended to patients who have a history of heart problems such as congestive heart failure, unstable angina or a carotid artery with 70 percent blockage or more. This procedure is used predominantly on patients who have suffered from a stroke and are not in good health to undergo conventional carotid surgery.
The neurointerventional radiologists at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center are able to pull blood clots out of the brain, working like a corkscrew. It is the first medical device approved by the FDA to physically remove blood clots from the brains of stroke patients. The retriever device can be used on those patients who are ineligible for tPA treatment and has been used successfully on patients up to eight hours after the onset of symptoms, extending the treatment window significantly.
The most common causes of stroke or cerebrovascular insufficiency includes, carotoid artery stenosis, in which vessels that supply blood to the brain are blocked, and other consitions such as mayamoya disease.
The physicians at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center now have enhanced capabilities to help them diagnose and treat a variety of disorders including diseases of the heart and blood vessels, neurovascular disorders and other conditions.
Biplane angiography produces simultaneous images of the same area from contrasting angles, for diagnostic scans of very high quality and accuracy. Used in conjunction with a cone-beam CT, the biplane unit can also generate real-time, three-dimensional views that enable physicians to perform complex catheter-based vascular procedures, especially in the brain and other areas of the body with small, delicate blood vessels.
This state-of-the-art technology enables the hospital to provide advanced stroke care and enhanced interventional radiology treatments.
A brain tumor does not necessarily mean surgery. Our Neurointervention team can work with tumors in the head, neck, brain and spine by using emoli-sation
Neurological surgery or “Neurosurgery” is the surgical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of patients with injury to and diseases of the brain, spine, or peripheral nerves. Neurosurgeons may provide either surgical or non-surgical care for a variety of disorders including:
- Head and spine trauma
- Cerebrovascular disorders, such as aneurysms and clogged arteries
- Chronic neck, arm, leg or back pain
- Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, tremor, multiple sclerosis and spasticity
- Brain and spine tumors
- Herniated discs
- Spinal deformation
- Peripheral nerve disorders
Brain tumors are defined as a growth or mass in the brain. People with brain tumors have several options of treatment such as surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The team at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center offers a comprehensive approach to treating brain tumors by successfully extracting brain tumors and continuing the plan of patient care through chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
AVM or Arteriovenous malformation is caused by twisted or dilated blood vessels. This medical condition disrupts normal blood flow in the brain and is the leading cause of stroke in young patients. It is estimated that more than 90% of patients suffering from AVM survive with the correct treatment including a combination of surgical removal (resection), stereotactic radiosurgery, and endovascular embolization.
Our highly skilled team of neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists and neurologists at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center work to develop the appropriate treatment plan for each individual patient. Each specialty works in tandem with patients and their families to provide a continuum of care from diagnosis to treatment.
Aventura Hospital and Medical Center offers deep brain stimulation, a surgical option for patients suffering from tremors caused by Parkinson’s, essential tremor or multiple sclerosis. The treatment implants a pacemaker that sends electrical impulses to inactivate the parts of the brain which cause symptoms.
The Deep Brain Stimulation Support Group, offered monthly, is open to those who are curious about DBS, considering the procedure or caring for those with DBS. For more information on this support group, please visit our Classes & Events Calendar.
Nearly 12 million visits are made to physician offices each year because of back problems. Eight out of 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
The spine consists of:
- 24 hard bones (vertebrae) that connect like puzzle pieces with soft cushioning disks between them. This makes the spine both strong and flexible.
- The transverse process is a wing of bone on either side of each vertebra.
- The spinous process is the part of each vertebra you can feel through your skin.
- The spinal cord is the “electric cable” that travels through a central canal in the vertebrae, connecting your brain to the muscles of your legs.
The spine has three natural curves:
- the cervical curve (neck)
- the thoracis curve (middle back) and
- the lumbar curve (lower back)
Back or neck problems can have many causes including:
- Damage from overuse
- Damage from an injury
- Medical problems such as arthritis
Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive spinal procedure that relieves the pain of vertebral compression fractures by inserting a balloon to inject the fractured vertebrate with cement. It can be used on patients who suffer from severe collapse of the broken vertebrate or wedging. It can also help restore the spine to a more normal alignment and prevent severe hunchback deformity to the spine. Aventura Hospital and Medical Center constitutes of experts neuroradiologists that can decide if this is a viable treatment for you and will effectively perform the procedure.
Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive spinal procedure that relieves the pain of vertebral compression fractures by using imaging guidance to inject the fracture vertebrate with cement. This procedure may be ideally for patients that have vertebral compression due to a tumor, older patients that cannot undergo open spinal surgery or to treat younger people that have osteoporosis due to a metabolic disorder. Our highly skilled neuroradiologist at Aventura Hospital and Medical Hospital will work with you to recommend the best treatment option based on your individual situation.
Aventura Hospital and Medical Center
20900 Biscayne Blvd
Aventura, FL 33180