When you receive a diagnosis for a neurological condition it can be a frightening experience. Having a care team comprised of board-certified neurologists can make a difference not only in the care you receive, but also your outcome.
The Department of Neurology at Staten Island University Hospital includes renowned physicians dedicated to providing individualized, patient-centric, evidence-based care. Our group is involved in ongoing research and participates in professional teaching activities, helping to develop tomorrow’s neurologists. From general neurology, to the most rare and complicated diseases, our team of subspecialists treat all neurological diseases and disorders.
The Department is comprised of 7 adult and pediatric neurologists with special expertise in:
- Autoimmune brain disorders, such as autoimmune encephalitis
- Epilepsy and seizure disorders
- Stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA)
- Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders
- Neuromuscular disorders, from Bell’s palsy to Lou Gehrig’s disease to myasthenia gravis
Included among the unique areas of expertise offered by the neurology specialists are
Autoimmune Brain Disorders
One of the rare neurological disorders treated in the department is autoimmune encephalitis, an autoimmune brain disorder in which the immune system attacks the brain. This results in acute-onset seizures, cognitive deficits, as well as severe psychiatric symptoms. The psychiatric symptoms can include anxiety, changes in mood, and even psychosis with delusions and hallucinations, similar to schizophrenia. Due to the nature of the symptoms, autoimmune encephalitis is often misdiagnosed, but is usually reversible with early and effective immune therapy. Given the severity of autoimmune encephalitis and the expertise offered by Dr. Souhel Najjar, patients travel from all over the world to see him for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Staten Island University Hospital is a NAEC accredited level 3 epilepsy center, and includes a full range of epilepsy care services for children and adults, including a dedicated, a 6-bed inpatient Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) that includes video electroencephalography (video EEG) capabilities.
Video EEG monitoring is necessary for our epileptologists, a neurologist that specializes in epilepsy, to develop a differential diagnosis and accurately diagnose the type of epileptic syndrome a patient has. Video EEG monitoring also enables us to develop tailored treatment plans that may include antiepileptic medications and identification of potential surgical options for patient with drug-resistant epilepsy.
Both Staten Island University Hospital North and South campuses are Department of Health-designated Primary Stroke Centers, with Staten Island University Hospital North currently seeking Joint Commission Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) designation, the highest stroke designation possible for our ability to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.
Staten Island University Hospital has also implemented a Telestroke Program. This program utilizes state-of-the art video teleconferencing technology to remotely place a stroke specialist at the bedside of a patient in the Emergency Departments. This allows stroke patients to receive the highest level of care by a stroke specialist anytime, day or night.
The neuromuscular team at Staten Island University Hospital includes a team of physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners, psychological care providers and rehabilitation professionals. With over 100 such disorders, we understand that each patient is different, with their own unique needs, and requires an individualized treatment plan to ensure the best quality of life possible. We offer complete diagnostic evaluations including MRIs, blood tests and clinical assessments, and when necessary, electromyography (EMG) testing, nerve conduction studies (NCS), nerve biopsies, muscle biopsies and spinal taps.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is neurodegenerative, meaning it gets worse over time, with progression differing form person to person. A diagnosis of MS is life changing and because early, effective treatment can slow down or prevent worsening of the disease, we tailor treatment plans based on the symptoms being experienced. Symptoms of MS may include depression, pain, fatigue, bladder and bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction and stiffness, among others. Our goal is for all patients to maintain the highest level of functionality and remain as independent as possible.