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In the right hands, extraordinary technology can enable extraordinary outcomes

In medicine, neurological disorders are among the most complex to diagnose, manage and monitor, let alone cure.

Thankfully, new equipment, new procedures and new medications are continually being developed; SJPHS physicians are frequently involved in the development and review of the most cutting edge techniques and technologies. In the hands of the skilled specialists of St. John Providence Health System's Neuroscience team, these can transform the lives of our patients.

Here are some of the technological devices and procedures used by St. John Providence Health System physicians:

If an increasing loss of movement control is causing a decline in the quality of your life and you have tried a reasonable trial of medications, the Deep Brain Stimulator (DBS) may be right for you. St. John Providence Health System offers patients with Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and other movement disorders relief from the tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement and stiffness as well as helps improve balance problems associated with the conditions.

DBS is an improved variation of a proven surgery that does not disrupt or destroy small structures of the brain. As an FDA-approved surgical procedure, DBS involves the implantation of an electrode in the brain that releases pulses of energy to block abnormal brain activity. St. John Providence Health System's experienced specialists accurately locate the specific area in the brain to stimulate. This is then monitored and adjusted to provide the best possible outcome.

St. John Providence Health System's Stereotactic Radiosurgery System uses sophisticated 3D computerized imaging to target a narrow x-ray beam, delivering a highly concentrated dose to small primary and or metastatic lesions throughout a patient's body with minimal damage to normal, critical structures and tissue. The increased accuracy of this technology reduces side effects and spares surrounding normal tissue.

St. John Providence Health System is proud to offer a high-tech cure for positional vertigo through the use of the Epley Omniax System. Omniax is a multi-axial (360-degree) patient positioning device and infrared video goggles that allows 3D, real-time monitoring and measurement of your eye movements. Based on the feedback, the doctor can physically position you (sometimes upside down or sideways) to treat the condition by maneuvering the body to get the crystals back in the proper place - alleviating your dizziness and restoring your quality of life.

St. John Providence Health System has a revolutionary treatment for partial arm or leg paralysis in patients who have conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, incomplete spinal cord injury and cerebral palsy. The neuroprosthetic devices employ electrical stimulation to fire muscles and produce movement in the hand or ankle/foot.

The NESS L-300 has been featured on Good Morning America and the Today Show and is endorsed by The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). St. John Providence Health System patients are experiencing incredible outcomes.

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is a neglected medical disorder affecting 1 of 17 people during their lifetime, including 50% to 75% of stroke patients and nearly 90% of Parkinson's Disease or ALS patients. The VitalStim therapeutic therapy employs a non-invasive, external electrical stimulation that retrains the throat muscles to regain the swallow function. St. John Providence Health System's certified clinicians administer this effective new therapy to restore your basic swallow function, returning you to your normal way of life.

St. John Providence Health System is providing patients with an innovative neurorecovery therapy that is producing greater functional recovery for stroke patients. The Reo Go is robot-assisted device that provides rehabilitation through a movement training program of repetitive arm exercises. Providing far greater outcomes than traditional therapy, Reo Therapy has received deserved attention with clinical research.

Staying on the cutting edge of technology, St. John Providence Health System is providing patients with therapy systems that utilize virtual reality platforms to retrain balance, core stability and movement control. The Cybex Trazer uses technology similar to the popular Nintendo Wii, and the IREX is a system that uses a green screen studio that enables patients to watch themselves on a large monitor as they perform exercises or games that challenge balance, extremity control and agility.

Offering partial weight-bearing therapy to patients previously not eligible due to the severity or complexity of their condition or cognitive level, St. John Providence Health System employs a successful gait training system that achieves favorable outcomes with gait speed, balance and motor control for stroke rehab. Using a central pattern generator, this therapy system provides more freedom and treatment options using a safe platform.

The vagus nerve stimulator works like a heart pacemaker. It is implanted into the chest where it continuously sends seizure blocking signals to the brain through the vagus nerve in the neck.

Three dimensional imaging for head and spine. This technology, used simultaneously during surgery, allows surgeons to "see through" tissue and can improve physician's accuracy of surgical treatment and may potentially reduce the need for a "halo" after surgery. Another advantage is the potential to make smaller incisions, which may reduce complications and hospital stay as well. St. John Hospital was the first hospital in metro Detroit using this procedure for the head and spine.

Neurofibromatosis II causes patients to develop bilateral (i.e., both sides) acoustic neuromas. Because both ears are affected in Neurofibromatosis II, bilateral deafness is usually the outcome of tumor growth or removal. But with Auditory Brain Stem Implants, while the sound quality does not have the fidelity of normal hearing, a patient can obtain some functionality.

With this process, the damaged disc is removed and a metal and plastic disc about the size of a quarter is inserted into the spine

The cochlear implant is an electronic instrument. Part of the device is implanted in the temporal (ear) bone and part is worn like a pocket-type hearing aid on the body. The cochlear implant, however, is not a hearing aid. It allows limited speech discrimination (understanding), makes communication easier and enables the user to hear many environmental sounds.

St. John Health offers the following advanced Neurodiagnostic services to diagnose disease and injuries of the brain, spine and nervous system:

  • Carotid Duplex Ultrasound - used to view the carotid arteries in the neck
  • Cerebral angiography: Examines arteries in and that go to the brain
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan - examines brain tissue
  • Electroencephalography (EEG) – examines electrical activity in the brain
  • Electromyography - tests muscle response
  • Evoked Potentials - tests various parts of the brain response to stimuli
  • Intra-operative Monitoring - assists neurosurgical procedure during brain and spinal cord surgeries
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) - examines blood vessels in the brain
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - examines brain tissue
  • Nerve Conduction Studies - test nerve responses
  • Transcranial Doppler - examines arteries of the brain
  • Video EEG Monitoring - identifies various types of seizure disorders

We offer many types of standard pain management treatments including nerve blocks, trigger point injections, physical therapy assessments and recommendations, occupational therapy and work hardening referrals, transcutaneous (across the skin) nerve stimulators and a number of psychological services.

Our more advanced pain management treatments Include:

  • Cryoanalgesia
  • Implantable pumps for spinal delivery of medication for cancer pain, spinal cord spasticity, related neuromuscular diseases
  • Myeloscopic procedures (lysis of adhesions)
  • Neurolytic techniques
  • Radiofrequency lesioning
  • Spinal cord stimulators


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