VNG


Diagnostic Testing Spotlight: VNG

Our office offers a variety of tests to address a variety of symptoms.

A VNG, or videonystagmography test, is a test that assesses dizziness and difficulty with balance by measuring involuntary eye movements called nystagmus. By doing this testing, it may be determined whether the symptoms are related to disorders of areas responsible for balance within the brain or the vestibular system which is the balance system of the inner ear.

During the testing, goggles are used to record eye movements. The patient is shown a series of patterns and told to move head and body into certain positions which may induce these involuntary eye movements.

Based on the results of the testing, you may be recommended to have a special type of physical therapy called vestibular therapy or other treatments.

For more information about this test talk to one of our providers at The Manhattan Center for Headache & Neurology

Brooke Steiger, NP

NARCOPLEPSY


Narcolepsy is a clinical syndrome, and it is one of the most common causes of disabling daytime sleepiness after obstructive sleep apnea.
There are four main clinical features of Narcolepsy to include the following:
1. Excessive daytime sleepiness. Patients with chronic sleepiness may be prone to fall asleep throughout the day, often at inappropriate times. Patients with severe narcolepsy may experience “sleep attacks”; in which they rapidly doze off with little to no warning.
2. Cataplexy, which is defined as emotionally triggered, transient muscle weakness. Most episodes are triggered by positive emotions, for example laughter and excitement. Although, episodes can be triggered by anger and grief.
3. Hypnagogic hallucinations are vivid, sometimes frightening visual, tactile, or auditory hallucinations that occur as the patient is falling asleep.
4. Sleep paralysis, which is defined as complete inability to move for one or two minutes immediately after awakening or just before falling asleep.
Other clinical features include psychiatric manifestations such as anxiety, depression and fragmented sleep.
Narcolepsy is diagnosed based on clinical assessment, specific laboratory studies to rule out electrolyte vs vitamin deficiency and sleep studies.
If you have experienced similar symptoms, please contact The Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology for further evaluation and treatment options.

Jordan Shankle, PA

VERTIGO

Vertigo is a type of dizziness that makes you feel like you are spinning, swaying, or tilting, or like the room is moving around you. These feelings come and go, and might last seconds, hours, or days.
The most common causes of vertigo include:
• Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – extra calcium deposits form in the inner ear which can lead to episodes of vertigo when you move your head in certain ways.
• Meniere disease – This is a condition in which fluid builds up inside the inner ear.
• Vestibular neuritis – This is sometimes caused by a virus which can affect the inner ear or the nerve in the inner ear.
• Head injury – Even a minor head injury can cause inner ear damage and vertigo.
• Vestibular migraine – People who get migraines, which are a type of headache, can sometimes have episodes of vertigo. This can happen with or without a headache.
• Certain medicines
• Neurological problems, such as stroke or multiple sclerosis

If you have vertigo, please make an appointment for a physical exam and evaluation. You may need testing such as a VNG or MRI. Treatment will be targeted to the cause of the problem. In the meantime, reduce your risk of falling from vertigo: make your home as safe as possible (get rid of loose cords, clutter, and rugs), and make sure you wear non-slip shoes.

–Alice Wong, NP

Reference: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/vertigo-a-type-of-dizziness-the-basics

COVID 19 DELTA VARIANT

As restrictions are being relaxed across the country, the Delta variant is quickly becoming the prevalent coronavirus strain. The Delta variant was first identified in India in December of 2020. As of early July, the Delta variant has been found in 96 countries. According to Yale Medicine, it is 50% more contagious than the original SARS-COV-2 virus.

This is very concerning for several reasons. In spite of plenty of vaccines available in the United States, many Americans still remain unvaccinated. The unvaccinated are highly susceptible to infection. When infected, they may become very ill, or even hospitalized, and continue to spread the infection.

Cases of breakthrough infections have been documented. Previously, breakthrough cases were believed to only occur in people who are older or with weakened immune systems. According to the Wall Street Journal, in a recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Israel, about half of the adults infected were fully inoculated with Pfizer vaccine. Last night, a major league baseball game Yankees v. Redsox was postponed due to 3 Yankees pitchers who had been vaccinated testing positive for the coronavirus.

So what can we do to protect ourselves?
First, and foremost, get vaccinated. If you have been vaccinated, continue wearing masks when indoors at gatherings or outdoors in large crowds. Continue to practice good hand hygiene by washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer. Also, continue to practice social distancing. Keep in mind, not only are you protecting yourself, you are protecting others.

For more information about the Delta variant and COVID-19 please visit the CDC website at:
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7028e2.htm

Enjoy your summer, but most importantly, stay safe!


Exertional headaches are a group of headache syndromes that are provoked by physical activity. This sub-type of headache can become severe with strenuous activity such as weight lifting or sexual intercourse. Exertional headaches can occur either as a secondary headache or primary headache. Exercise headache is characterized by episodes of pulsatile head pain that are brought on by or occur only during or after physical exercise. Primary exercise headaches are more likely to occur during hot weather or at high altitude .
Exercise headaches are bilateral and throbbing in quality. They persist from five minutes to 48 hours, are triggered by physical exercise, and may be prevented by avoidance of excessive physical exertion. Exercise headaches are not usually associated with nausea or vomiting
Most exertional headaches are benign. Although these may occur in isolation, they are most commonly associated with patients who have inherited susceptibility to migraine.
Patients with new or never-evaluated exercise headaches should have an evaluation, including brain imaging and a neurovascular evaluation; blood work may also be indicated.
The Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology has caring providers to further evaluate and facilitate acute and extended management.
By: Jordan Shankle, PA

POST COVID GUIDANCE


As we celebrate reaching mid 2021 with vaccination rates up and cases down in New York, we acknowledge for some, the effects of Covid-19 continue. On June 14, 2021, the CDC published interim guidance for evaluating and caring for patients with post-Covid conditions. The key points include:
The term “Post-Covid Conditions” is an umbrella term for the wide range of physical and mental health consequences experienced by some patients that are present four or more weeks after SARS-CoV-2 infection, including by patients who had initial mild or asymptomatic acute infection.

Providers are encouraged to incorporate patient-centered approaches to optimize the quality of life and function in affected patients.

Lack of abnormalities in objective laboratory or imaging findings does not invalidate the existence, severity, or importance of a patient’s symptoms or conditions.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to set achievable goals and to approach treatment by focusing on specific symptoms (e.g., headache). A comprehensive management plan focusing on improving physical, mental, and social wellbeing may be helpful for some patients.

Understanding of post-Covid conditions remains incomplete and guidance for healthcare professionals will likely change over time as the evidence evolves.

We at the Manhattan Center are seeing patients with aggravation of chronic symptoms as well as new onset symptoms possibly due to post-Covid or even Covid vaccinations. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, brain fog, impaired concentration, nausea, numbness and tingling.

As data and research continue, and governmental and medical guidance develop, our providers follow what has always been successful at our practice. We listen to our patients: we spend up to an hour with our new patients to listen, examine, diagnose, and discuss plan of treatment. We offer in-house testing (EEG, TCD, VNG, EMG/NCS) and use our extensive expertise to treat a variety of neurological conditions. In additional to pharmacological treatments, we offer IV infusions and IM/SQ injections of fluids/vitamins/magnesium, nerve blocks, trigger point injections, as well as massage and mental health therapy. We are committed to recovering from COVID together. Please call and set up an initial or follow up appointment with one of our caring providers.

By: Alice Wong, NP

Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-care/post-covid-index.html

SUMMERTIME MIGRAINES


We all look forward to summer when the weather is nice and it is time for vacation.
When you suffer from migraines, you need to keep a few things in mind during the summer months.

As the weather gets warmer, we spend more time outside. When it is very warm, we perspire and may become dehydrated. It is important to keep well hydrated with non caffeinated beverages in order to stave off dehydration related to overheating. For some, the heat itself may trigger headaches so make sure to keep yourself cool by spending time in the shade especially around midday and taking breaks indoors to cool off.

As the days get longer we tend to spend more time in the sun. For those who consider light to be a trigger for their migraines, make sure to wear sunglasses and a hat.

Spending more time outside may include social activities such as picnics and barbeques where alcohol is served. Be mindful of the types of alcohol that trigger your migraines and drink alcoholic beverages only in moderation. For every 1 alcoholic beverage, consume 2 glasses of water.

Along with summer, often comes vacation. If you are traveling, be mindful of changes in your routine such as very early flights or altering your sleep schedule. While on vacation, try to stick to your normal routine when you are able.

Overall, enjoy your summer but make self-care a priority.

By: Brooke Steiger, NP

PRIMARY STABBING HEADACHE


Stabbing headache is one of multiple headache syndromes that may occur either as a primary headache or secondary headache. Careful evaluation for underlying causes is important for these uncommon types of headache.
Primary stabbing headache is characterized by transient, sharp, jabbing pains. The pain can be localized at any site on the head and frequently causes the patient to wince. They appear suddenly either as single stabs or multiple reocurring, mild to intense stabbing pain. This headache subtype has been diagnosed in both children and adults.
The individual stabs typically last for a few seconds and often occur at irregular intervals ranging from rare attacks to more than one attack each day . The stabbing pains occur in the absence of organic disease of the cranial nerves . However, a structural abnormality must be excluded.
Most patients with primary stabbing headache also have another coexisting primary headache disorder, such as migraine or cluster headache. In these cases, the stabbing usually occurs in areas of the head that are involved in the coexisting headache. This implies that the stabbing pain might result from spontaneous firing in individual nerve fibers sensitized by recurrent activation.
The diagnosis of primary stabbing headaches is based upon a particular criteria. The Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology has exceptional providers to further evaluate and facilitate acute and extended management. We look forward to treating you!

By: Jordan Shankle, PA

NEWS: FDA APPROVES BIOHAVEN’S NURTEC® ODT (RIMEGEPANT) FOR PREVENTION

NURTEC ODT 75 mg is an oral CGRP antagonist previously approved for acute treatment in all eligible adult patients with migraine, regardless of the number of monthly migraine days. It is now also approved for preventive treatment in adult patients with less than 15 headache days per month. NURTEC can be taken up to once daily as needed to stop migraine attacks or taken every other day to help prevent migraine and reduce the number of monthly migraine days. This approval represents an important advancement in care for the millions of people living with migraine. For the first time, one medication can treat and prevent migraine attacks. We at the Manhattan Center of Headache and Neurology are pleased and excited to offer this new preventative treatment to our patients. Please contact us for evaluation and discussion.

Alice Wong, NP

Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

June is Migraine and Headache Awareness month!

If you are looking for ways to get involved you can start by spreading the word about the impact of headache on daily life. By doing this, you help to change the stigma around migraine.

You can go to the American Migraine Foundation website and sign the “Move Against Migraine” pledge which is an initiative for migraine patient advocacy.

The American Migraine Foundation has several social media related initiatives during the month of June. They are encouraging patients and patient advocates to follow them on social media including Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and use the hashtag #moveagainstmigraine on social media when talking about migraine. They are also hosting a twitter chat with the Executive Director Nim Lalvani on Monday, June 21 at 3 PM EST.

You can even get involved on a national level by attending the yearly advocacy event called “Headache on the Hill” which a 2-day event in Washington D.C. where patients, headache specialists, and patient advocates meet with Congressional representatives to raise awareness. This year, you can register for “Walk/Run/Relax” which is a virtual fundraiser where you complete a walk, run, or simple relaxation time on your own during the first week of June. You can register on for this on www.raceroster.com

By: Brooke Steiger, NP