Therapeutic Botox Injections
Botulinum toxin injections are a type of therapy used to treat different forms of dystonia. Dystonia is a neuromuscular disorder that produces involuntary muscle contractions/ spasms which can effect different areas of the body such as the eyes, neck, face and limbs. The goal of the therapy is to reduce muscle spasm and pain.
Botulinum toxin has proven to be useful in the treatment of many forms of dystonia, including the following:
- blepharospasm – involuntary closure of the eyelids
- hemifacial spasm – sudden contraction of facial muscles on one side
- spasmodic torticollis, or cervical dystonia – muscle spasm in the neck that causes the head to turn to one side, and sometimes forward or backward
- limb spasticity
In the fall of 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of therapeutic botox to treat chronic migraines in adults. Adults who experience headaches for at least fourteen days each month may be eligible to receive this type of treatment. This treatment involves multiple injections in the head and neck, and can be administered every 12 weeks.
Sleep Disorder Evaluations
These types of studies monitor various processes while the body is sleeping. These processes include brain activity, eye movements, breathing, oxygen saturation, heart rate and leg movements. These sleep studies/polysomnograms are performed at a sleep lab facility, where patients spend the night. The results from the sleep lab are then sent to Dr. Westgate to be interpreted. She will then go over the test results in the office with the patient and devise a treatment plan with you and/or primary care provider.
Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment involving the implantation of a medical device called a brain pacemaker. This special type of pacemaker sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain which directly changes brain activity in a controlled manner. DBS in select brain regions has provided remarkable therapeutic benefits for other treatment-resistant movements and affective disorders such as chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia.
The FDA approved DBS as a treatment for essential tremor in 1997, for Parkinson’s disease in 2002, and dystonia in 2003.
Vagal Nerve Stimulation
Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) is a surgical treatment involving the implementation of a medical device called a pulse generator. This generator is surgically implanted into the chest and is connected by a wire (threaded underneath the skin) to the left vagal nerve in the neck. The pulse generator sends short bursts of electrical energy which are directed into the brain via the vagus nerve. The physician programs the device to deliver small electrical stimulation bursts every few minutes which can help treat certain types of intractable epilepsy and treatment-resistant depression.