Category: Conditions

Are There Different Types of Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy (neurological disorder) diagnosis medical concept on tablet screen with stethoscope; blog: Are There Different Types of Peripheral Neuropathy?


Peripheral neuropathy, or simply neuropathy, is a term used to describe a large number of conditions that are related to damage in the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves that send information from the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) to the rest of the body. 

Your peripheral nerves are responsible for how your body functions as well as how it reacts to outside stimuli. When there is damage to the peripheral nervous system, complications occur that interfere with everyday life. Neuropathy is not a single condition, but a blanket term that covers many different conditions with different causes. To understand more about this condition, it’s helpful to learn about its causes and the different types of peripheral neuropathy.

Causes of Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be genetic, meaning it is present from birth. Or it can be acquired, meaning it was caused after birth. Acquired neuropathy is the more common of the two. Acquired neuropathies may be symptomatic of another disorder or disease. They can also be idiopathic, meaning there is no known cause.

Acquired peripheral neuropathy that causes symptoms can be caused by a wide range of things including:

  • Physical trauma or injury
  • Diabetes
  • Vascular disease
  • Autoimmune diseases
    • Systemic (body-wide) autoimmune diseases
    • Autoimmune diseases that only attack nerves
  • Nutritional imbalances
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Infections
  • Kidney and liver disorders

Types of Peripheral Neuropathy

The nerves in the human body can be broken down into three groups: sensory, motor, and autonomic. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are more than individual 100 types of peripheral neuropathy, but the can be categorized by which type of nerves are being affected: 

1. Sensory

The sensory nerves are responsible for transmitting information about physical feelings and senses. For instance, when you feel either hot or cold, your sensory nerves are communicating those feelings between your brain and your body. Your sensory nerves are also responsible for detecting pain. Pain is actually a very useful sensation, as it protects people from injury (or further injury) by alerting them that something is wrong. When the sensory nerves are damaged, they do not transmit information correctly, causing a variety of physical symptoms and complications. Symptoms of sensory nerve damage include: 

  • Pain
    • Worse at night for some individuals 
    • Severe pain may be caused by even the lightest touch. This is called allodynia.
      • Ex: bed sheets lightly draped over the body causes pain 
  • Inability to feel vibrations or touch, especially in the hands
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Loss of sense of position
  • Inability to coordinate complex movements
  • Difficulty keeping balance with the eyes shut
  • Inability to feel pain
  • Inability to feel changes in temperature

2. Motor

Your motor nerves control all of your conscious movements. They are responsible for sending signals to all the muscles under conscious control. The motor nerves allow you to walk, talk, write and grasp things. Damage to the motor nerves interferes with voluntary movements. Symptoms of motor nerve damage include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Painful cramps
  • Uncontrolled muscle twitches
  • Muscle shrinking

3. Autonomic

Your autonomic nerves control your organs and regulate all the actions that you do not consciously control. This includes breathing, heart function, digestion, and gland function. If these nerves are damaged, your body may lose the ability to regulate certain functions like blood pressure, responses to temperature, or even digest food. Symptoms of autonomic nerve damage include:

  • Heat intolerance
  • Excessive sweating
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Trouble eating or swallowed (only if nerves in the esophagus are affected)
  • Inability to expand and contract small blood vessels to regulate blood pressure

Can Peripheral Neuropathy be Treated?

Treatments are available for neuropathy, but they depend on the type of neuropathy and its underlying cause. Controlling diabetes helps with diabetic neuropathy. Using immunosuppressive drugs can treat autoimmune disorders. If an underlying cause is successfully treated, then the neuropathy may resolve itself. This is because nerves can sometimes regenerate and regain function.

If neuropathy is idiopathic and has no discernable cause, that makes it more difficult to treat.  Lifestyle changes can improve symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, whether the cause is known or not. Not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and eating a balanced diet can all contribute to improvement in neuropathy symptoms. 

Regional Neurological Associates is home to board-certified neurologists who have expertise in treating a range of neurologic conditions, including neuropathy, headaches, epilepsy, MS, dementia, and stroke. If you have concerns about neurological disorders like peripheral neuropathy, call (718) 515-4347 to make an appointment.

The Link Between Heart Disease and Stroke

Woman suffering from chest pain heart attack. Healthcare and medical concept; blog: The Link Between Heart Disease and Stroke


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 859,000 Americans die of heart disease, stroke, or another cardiovascular disease every year. Because February is American Heart Month, it’s the perfect opportunity to look at how neurological health and heart health are connected. For instance, heart disease and stroke are closely linked in many ways.

High Blood Pressure

According to data from the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, about 78 million US adults have high blood pressure. That’s around 1 in 3 American adults. Only about half of these people have their high blood pressure under control. Approximately 7 in 10 people who have a first heart attack and 8 in 10 people who have a first stroke have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is linked to several factors, including diets high in sodium.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease because it damages the lining of the arteries. When the arterial linings are damaged, it is easier for plaque to build up in the arteries. As for what plaque is and where it comes from, look no further than high cholesterol. 

High Cholesterol

High LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad cholesterol,” can double a person’s risk of heart disease. Excess cholesterol combines with calcium and other substances in the blood to form plaque that builds up inside blood vessels and blocks blood flow. Blocked arteries can have negative effects on the heart, brain, kidneys, and other organs. It is also dangerous when blood flow to the legs decreases. Millions of adults in the US have high LDL cholesterol but only about half of them are effectively managing it with medication.

There is also “good” cholesterol in the blood, called HDL. Having high levels of HDL in your blood is not a cause for concern. In fact, it’s considered a good thing. It is thought that HDL carries LDL out of the blood and into the liver. Having healthy HDL levels may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.


Diabetes can negatively affect many major organs in the body. It increases the risk of stroke and heart disease, and another cardiovascular disease called peripheral artery disease (PAD). It is also linked to kidney disease, vision loss, nerve damage, and high cholesterol.

Being Overweight or Obese

People who are overweight or have obesity, have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke than people of normal weight. Risk factors like high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes are also much higher among obese individuals.

Lifestyle Factors

Smoking has an extremely negative effect on overall health, especially cardiovascular health. Smoking causes many cases of heart disease and stroke. This is because it damages the cardiovascular system, the neurological system, and pretty much every other body system. Smokers have stickier blood that is more likely to clot. Clots can block blood flow to both the heart and brain, causing heart attack and stroke. Smoking also raises triglycerides and lowers healthy cholesterol in the blood. It also increases the buildup of plaque in blood vessels. This prevents blood flow and decreases circulation. Smokers may also have thicker and narrower arteries and veins.

Having a healthy diet can reduce a person’s chances of getting heart disease. A healthy diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins and limits saturated and trans fat, added sugars, and sodium.

Exercise can also help lower risks of heart disease and stroke. Not getting enough physical activity can lead to heart disease and stroke even if they do not have any other risk factors. Exercise along with a healthy diet can help combat obesity and reduce the complications of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

At Regional Neurological Associates in New York, we have board-certified neurologists who are experts in the treatment and management of neurologic conditions, including strokes. If you want to learn more about how your heart health may affect your neurological health, call (718) 515-4347 to make an appointment.

Dizziness vs Vertigo: What is the Difference?

Vertigo illness concept. Man hands on his head felling headache dizzy sense of spinning dizziness,a problem with the inner ear, brain, or sensory nerve pathway; blog: dizziness vs vertigo


According to statistics from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, dizziness and vertigo affect 15% to 20% of adults each year. Dizziness and vertigo are terms that are often used either together or interchangeably. But, is there a difference in dizziness vs vertigo? 


Dizziness is used to describe certain sensations relating to motion and balance. Dizziness is a broad and inexact term because it might have different meanings for different people. It can also be difficult to put certain sensations into words and dizziness is an easy umbrella term to use for multiple feelings. Types of dizziness include light-headedness, faintness, or unsteadiness. Vertigo can also be called a type of dizziness even though it is a more specific sensation, described below.

All types of dizziness, including vertigo, can be incapacitating and interfere with daily life and make everyday activities either impossible or dangerous.


One of the ways that you can tell the difference between dizziness vs vertigo is noting that vertigo means something more specific. Vertigo is the false sensation of movement. Some describe it as feeling as if you are spinning around while the world around you. On the other hand, it may feel as if you are standing still and the world is spinning around you. Many people will describe the sensations of vertigo as dizziness because it does fall under that umbrella of sensations. However, it is the only type of dizziness that causes the spinning or whirling sensation.

Vertigo is often accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, loss of balance, or trouble walking. Another possible symptom experienced during an episode of vertigo is nystagmus, which the American Optometric Association describes as a condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements. Vertigo and related symptoms are disabling and interrupt regular life.


The causes of dizziness vs vertigo vary, but underlying conditions are rarely life-threatening.

  • Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): The most common cause of vertigo is BPPV, which is triggered by a rapid change in head position or movement. Quick movements that trigger episodes of vertigo include sitting up, turning around, or turning over in bed. 
  • Meniere’s Disease: Meniere’s disease is a condition in which fluid builds up in the inner ear. Individuals with Meniere’s disease experience sudden episodes of vertigo that may last several hours. Other symptoms of Meniere’s disease include ringing in the ear, fluctuating hearing loss, or feeling like the ear is plugged.
  • Vestibular Neuritis: Vestibular neuritis occurs when a viral infection (flu, measles, chickenpox, shingles, mumps, rubella, mono)  spreads to the vestibular nerve in the inner ear. When the nerve is inflamed, it causes vertigo as well as nausea, vomiting, balance issues, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Labyrinthitis: Labyrinthitis is also the result of an infection in the inner ear, but it affects the cochlear nerve as well as the vestibular nerve. The cochlear nerve is responsible for communicating with the brain about hearing, so in addition to the symptoms of vestibular neuritis, labyrinthitis causes difficulty hearing and ringing in the ears.
  • Migraine: Vertigo is sometimes a symptom of migraine headaches. Vertigo episodes associated with migraines may last minutes or even hours. Vertigo may be accompanied by a headache and light and noise sensitivity. Sometimes migraine-related vertigo occurs without a headache.
  • Other Causes of Dizziness: Dizziness may be caused by other factors unrelated to a chronic condition or infection. These causes include:
    • A drop in blood pressure when standing or sitting up too quickly
    • Overheating
    • Dehydration
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Medication side effects
    • Low iron levels
    • Low blood sugar

Diagnosis & Treatment

If you are experiencing episodes of dizziness or vertigo, your doctor will get more information about your symptoms and give you a physical exam in which your balance and other functions are checked. They may perform a few different tests to find the root cause and determine if the sensations you have qualify as dizziness vs vertigo.

One test used to diagnose the cause of balance disorders is called a videonystagmography (VNG) balance test. VNG tests the inner ear and motor function to find the cause of dizziness or vertigo.

Sometimes vertigo resolves itself without treatment. However, treatments are available to manage symptoms and/or treat underlying conditions. Treatments include:

  • Diuretics
  • Dizziness medication
  • Nausea medication
  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Medication to prevent migraine
  • Balance therapy
  • Head position maneuver therapy

At Regional Neurological Associates, we know how disabling dizziness and vertigo can be. We are pleased to offer VNG at our office to help with diagnosing vertigo and dizziness. Our physicians are experienced in the evaluation and management of conditions causing dizziness or vertigo. Call us at (718) 515-4347 to schedule an appointment today.

7 Reasons to See a Neurologist

Human brain digital illustration. Electrical activity, flashes and lightning on a blue background.; blog: reasons to see a neurologist


Neurologists are doctors that have specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the nervous system. Your nervous system is made up of your brain, spinal cord, and nerves throughout your entire body. If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate a problem with your nervous system, your primary doctor will probably refer you to a neurologist. The following are all good reasons to see a neurologist.

1. Existing Neurological Disorders

The presence of a previously diagnosed neurological disorder is probably one of the most obvious reasons to see a neurologist. Even if your symptoms are well controlled, frequent monitoring may be needed. Conditions you might see a neurologist regularly for include

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease 
  • History of stroke

2. Persistent Headaches

Most people experience headaches every now and then, but if you have frequent and persistent headaches, then that’s a good reason to see a neurologist. Headaches are a couple and different types of headaches have a multitude of causes. To make sure there is not a serious condition at the root of your headaches, a doctor should evaluate you.

3. Migraine

One coming type of headache that affects many people is a migraine. If you have frequent and persistent headaches accompanied by other symptoms, you may be suffering from migraines. Symptoms of migraine include:

  • Headache on one or both sides of the head
  • Headache that worsens with physical activity
  • Pain that is throbbing or pulsing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to sounds
  • Sensitivity to smells

According to the American Migraine Foundation, migraine impacts over 37 million people in the United States and 144 million worldwide. If you have symptoms of migraine that your primary care provider is unable to treat, you should see a neurologist.

4. Blackouts

You can think of a blackout as a momentary glitch in the nervous system. During a blackout, the individual is unaware of what is happening and goes into a trance-like state. Sometimes a person will thrash around as if having a seizure during a blackout. Other times they will be motionless and unresponsive. If you experience blackouts frequently, then you should seek attention from a neurologist.

5. Seizures

If you have a seizure but have not been diagnosed with a seizure disorder like epilepsy, you need to see a neurologist. While many types of epilepsy are present during infancy and childhood, there is such a thing as adult-onset epilepsy. A seizure can also be a symptom of another condition such as meningitis or a brain tumor.

6. Dizziness

Dizziness, or vertigo, is the sensation that the world is spinning around you. Or it may seem like you are spinning around while the world is standing still. Vertigo can be life-altering because it prevents you from carrying out daily tasks like going to work and caring for your family. While vertigo may resolve itself after a while, you should still see a neurologist to have the underlying condition diagnosed. Many of the causes are not life-threatening, but they share symptoms with more serious conditions like stroke. Some conditions that are linked to vertigo and dizziness include

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • Meniere’s disease 
  • Vestibular neuritis/labyrinthitis
  • Vestibular migraine

7. Neuropathy 

Peripheral neuropathy, usually just called neuropathy, is the name given to a group of conditions that affect the body’s peripheral nerves. The peripheral nervous system connects the central nervous system, made up of the brain and spinal cord, to the rest of the body. Neuropathy can take many forms, including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Poor coordination
  • Burning sensations
  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the affected body part
  • Paralysis 

There is a long list of conditions that can cause neuropathy, ranging from autoimmune disease to vitamin deficiencies. One type of neuropathy many people have heard of is diabetic neuropathy, due to how common diabetes is in the US.

Make an Appointment to See a Neurologist

If you have a diagnosed neurological disorder or one of the above symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment to see a neurologist. The dedicated team of professionals at Regional Neurological Associates has advanced training in diagnosing and treating neurological disorders so you can feel confident you are getting expert care. To make an appointment, call (718) 515-4347.

Living with Alzheimer’s: How to Enjoy the Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Grandma, grandpa, mum and child exchanging gifts. Parents and daughters having fun near tree indoors. Loving family with presents in room; blog: Living with Alzheimer’s: How to Enjoy the Holidays


Families who are affected by Alzheimer’s know all too well how the disease seeps into every aspect of life. The holidays are no exception to this rule. A time that is usually full of fun and festive joy may be stressful or even a bit sad. Family members may look back on the past holiday seasons they spent together and feel a sense of loss. Caregivers are often given more responsibility to accommodate visitors and activities. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, so people need to know that they can still enjoy the holidays by following these tips.

1. Plan Ahead

Many people affected by Alzheimer’s disease will have certain times during the day where they are in the best frame of mind to interact with others. Plan any visits or gatherings around that time and try not to disrupt their usual schedule. Routine is important when living with dementia.

If there are things you want to get out and do, or parties you want to have, but necessary plans in place. Alzheimer’s can be unpredictable, but if you are a caregiver, you know better than anyone what to expect from your loved one. 

2. Communicate Effectively

If you’re having a family gathering, keep attendees updated on their loved one’s state of mind and behavior. This can help manage their expectations before they come to visit. The family member living with Alzheimer’s disease may have also changed in appearance since the last visit, so sharing recent photos might also be a good idea.

Give family and friends tips on how to communicate most effectively. Encourage them to be patient as they listen and resist the urge to interrupt or correct things. Advise them not to get frustrated or comment on any repeated questions or stories from the family member with Alzheimer’s.

3. Be Flexible

Remember what we just said about planning? Do it, but don’t be surprised if plans have to be altered. Be flexible enough to not let a change in plans derail your whole day. Living with Alzheimer’s can be unpredictable. 

4. Focus on Meaningful Activities

Because you might get to do all the things you want, make sure you prioritize what’s most important. Try to stick to simple things that bring joy like decorating cookies, reading a favorite book aloud, or watching an old Christmas movie. 

5. Keep Gatherings Small

Big crowds, even if they’re full of faces that were once familiar, can be overwhelming to someone living with Alzheimer’s. Keep holiday gatherings small and intimate so everyone is comfortable and relaxed. 

6. Celebrate in a Familiar Setting

Changes in the environment can cause distress and confusion for people with dementia. If the individual lives in a care facility, then ask if you can use a room there for a small family celebration. The facility might also have activities planned for residents that you can participate in. 

If the individual lives in your home, then choose the space there that is most familiar and comfortable for them to be in for any holiday gatherings. It’s also a good idea to have a quiet space where the family member with Alzheimer’s disease can go to be alone or have one-on-one visits. 

Playing familiar holiday music may also help put individuals with Alzheimer’s at ease and create a festive, yet calm, environment. Just make sure it’s not too loud and startling.

7. Don’t Go Crazy with Decorations

Everyone loves the festive cheer of a decorated house or care facility. However, big displays that require rearranging things can confuse people with dementia who may not recognize a once-familiar setting when it’s altered. Blinking lights and cluttered surfaces may also confuse and should be avoided.

8. Keep Visits and Outings Brief

If you have visitors, have them come in on different days and make sure they keep their visits on the short side. Similarly, if you plan on going somewhere for a holiday celebration, make it brief. Be prepared to leave early if needed. 

9. Don’t Schedule Too Much

Make sure you and your loved ones get downtime to rest and recharge. Dealing with Alzheimer’s during the holidays can be trying for everyone, so it’s important not to commit to more than you can handle. After all, the holidays should bring some joy to everyone involved.

Make an Appointment at Regional Neurological Associates

The physicians at Regional Neurological Associates are all board-certified neurologists with experience in treating a variety of disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. If you have questions or concerns about neurological health, including living with dementia during the holidays, call (718) 515-4347 to make an appointment.

9 Neurological Disorders You Need to Know

Human brain digital illustration. Electrical activity, flashes and lightning on a blue background; blog: 9 Neurological Disorders You Need to Know


Due to the complexity of the brain and central nervous system, neurological disorders can seem like a mystery. There are numerous types of diseases and disorders related to neurological health, and a variety of factors that can lead to each condition. If you’re curious about conditions that can affect the brain and central nervous system, here are nine neurological disorders you need to know about.

1. Stroke

A stroke is an interruption or reduction of blood flow to the brain. When the blood supply is limited or stopped, then the brain tissue does not get enough oxygen and other nutrients carried in the blood. Within minutes of a stroke beginning, brain cells will begin to die, causing damage and potentially permanent complications. It is crucial for a stroke patient to get immediate medical attention to minimize those complications.

A person having a stroke may experience trouble with speaking and comprehension, headache, difficulty walking, paralysis (in the face, arm, or leg), or vision problems. Catching these symptoms early is important so treatment can be given as soon as possible. 

2. Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system in which abnormal brain activity causes seizures or other periods of unusual behaviors and sensations. Sometimes people with epilepsy experience a loss of awareness of their surroundings during a seizure or episode. The condition may be controlled or managed with medications and surgery.

3. Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system (CNS) in which the body’s immune system attacks the CNS. The protective myelin sheaths covering the nerve fibers are damaged, causing communication issues between the brain and the body. There is no cure for MS but some patients respond well to treatments to preserve their quality of life. People with MS experience a wide variety of symptoms including loss of balance, difficulty walking and difficulty with muscle coordination. They may also go through periods where symptoms are in remission. 

4. Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. The disease affects a part of the brain called the substantia nigra, where there is a loss of dopaminergic neurons. Symptoms usually develop gradually as the disease progresses. Tremors are a common symptom that may present as shaking in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head. Patients may also experience limb stiffness, difficulty with balance or walking, slowed movement, and decreased coordination. Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured or reversed, but there are many treatments that are tailored to each patient’s symptoms. Medications and surgical therapy are common treatments, and sometimes lifestyle changes can improve symptoms.

5. Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy, commonly referred to as just neuropathy, is a group of conditions related to damage to the peripheral nerves and the symptoms that damage produces. The peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves that connects the CNS to the rest of the body. Symptoms vary and range in severity from mild to disabling, but they are rarely life-threatening. A person with neuropathy may experience chronic pain, lack of coordination, or tingling, weakness, or numbness in the area of the damaged nerve, as well as other symptoms.

6. Dementia

Dementia is the term for a group of brain conditions that impair a person’s ability to think, reason, and remember things. In some cases, language skills, the ability to manage emotions, and perception are also impaired. 

Dementia often develops gradually, but in certain cases it may appear suddenly. Sudden onset is usually associated with severe head trauma. Common types of dementia include Alzheimer’s Disease, vascular dementia (caused by strokes or cerebrovascular disease), and Lewy body disease.

There is no cure for most types of dementia, but the effects of dementia caused by infections or vitamin deficiencies may be reversed with treatment. It is estimated that up to half of people 85 and older experience some form of dementia. 

7. Psychiatric and Neurobehavioral Disorders

These disorders are related to the connection between the brain and behavior. Neurobehavioral disorders are impairments associated with brain diseases like multiple sclerosis, stroke, and dementia or brain injury. Psychiatric disorders are associated with abnormal functions of the part of the brain responsible for social cognition. Historically, the study and treatment of these disorders were separate, but today doctors embrace a connection between the two in order to better treat and diagnose a wide range of conditions affecting the brain.

8. Vertigo

Vertigo is a sensation of dizziness. People who experience vertigo sometimes describe it as either feeling like you’re spinning while your surroundings stay still or the feeling that the world around you is spinning and you are standing still. Vertigo is a symptom of a number of conditions including Meniere’s disease, vestibular migraine, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Vertigo can either resolve on its own or be treated based on the underlying cause.

9. Headaches

Headaches and migraines are common neurological disorders that many people are affected by. A headache is defined as pain in any region of the head. There are several different types of headaches with a range of causes and symptoms. Common types of headache pain include sharp pain, throbbing, or aching.

Migraines area type of headache that can be quite severe and incapacitating. Along with head pain, people suffering from migraines may experience nausea, light and noise sensitivity. Symptoms may worsen when moving or bending over. Symptoms can last for several hours or even several days. When someone has more days with a migraine than without one, then they are considered to have chronic migraines.

Make an Appointment

At Regional Neurological Associates, we are committed to providing our patients with expert care for all types of neurological conditions. Our experienced doctors are highly trained in a variety of subspecialties including migraine headaches, stroke, and pain management. If you have questions or concerns about any of these neurological disorders, call us at (718) 515-4347 to make an appointment.

When to Worry About Neck Pain

Highlighted spine of woman with neck pain; blog: when to worry about neck pain


Neck pain can be a real … pain in the neck. But, how should you judge whether it’s something serious that you should see a doctor for or something that will just heal on its own in a couple of days? Here are a few useful tips to consider when deciding if you should seek medical help.

Serious Accidents and Injuries

If you’ve been in a serious accident, such as a car crash or sports injury, that has caused substantial pain or restricted your neck movement, you should visit the hospital or call emergency medical services immediately. These are not the types of injuries that will just disappear in a few days or weeks.


Whiplash is an injury to your neck bones, muscles, ligaments and/or nerves. It is commonly the result of your head or neck being jerked forward or backward. The most common symptoms of whiplash include stiffness or pain in the neck. Whiplash can take effect immediately after an incident or appear in a few days or even weeks. Other symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Headache
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of memory or difficulty concentrating
  • Shoulder or back pain

If you are experiencing signs of whiplash, visit your doctor for treatment as symptoms can get worse over time, or there could be more severe issues that you are unable to diagnose and treat on your own.

Signs of Nerve Damage

Usually, neck stiffness isn’t enough to warrant a trip to your doctor, unless it’s been bothering you for longer than a few weeks. But, what if you are experiencing other symptoms along with your stiff neck? These symptoms combined with a stiff neck could indicate that you have nerve damage, potentially caused by a bone, joint, or cartilage putting an abnormal amount of pressure or pinching a nerve.

  • Shooting pain down your arms or legs
  • Dizziness, vertigo, recurring loss of balance, or unexplained clumsiness
  • Migraines
  • Recent injury
  • Tingling feeling or numbness in your extremities
  • Bladder or bowel control issues

Signs of Meningitis

Meningitis can be a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection that causes inflammation of the membrane of your brain and spinal cord. It can lead to neck stiffness along with the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Unexplained sensitivity to bright lights
  • Nausea
  • Confusion

If you experience these symptoms, you should seek medical care immediately. Meningitis that is caused by a bacterial infection can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Contact Regional Neurological Associates

If you have questions or concerns about your neck pain, reach out to Regional Neurological Associates today. Our team specializes in diagnosing back pain and neck pain, and in assessing risks and treatment options. Understanding that each back and neck pain patient is unique, we take an individualized approach to care to help alleviate that pain as much as possible. Call (718) 515-4347 to schedule an appointment.


7 Early Warning Signs of Multiple Sclerosis

multiple sclerosis nerve comparison illustration; blog: early warning signs of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disorder that causes the immune system to mistakenly attack your body’s nervous system. More specifically, the immune system attacks the protective cover of nerve fibers, which can cause communication issues between your brain and other parts of your body. If allowed to progress, the disease can result in permanent damage to your nervous system.

There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis and current treatment focuses on slowing the progression of the disease and improving symptoms. As such, early diagnosis and treatment are paramount, so you should be aware of the early warning signs. 

The specific symptoms of multiple sclerosis can vary from person to person, and there are currently no specific laboratory tests that confirm or deny the presence of the disease. Instead, doctors will review your symptoms and medical history and perform various tests to determine if you are affected by multiple sclerosis.

Early warning signs for multiple sclerosis include:

  • Vision Difficulties: Unexplained vision difficulties such as seeing double, blurred vision, or loss of vision can be signs that your optic nerve is becoming inflamed, a common symptom of multiple sclerosis.
  • Muscle Spasms or Stiffness: Other common symptoms of multiple sclerosis include muscle stiffness or uncontrollable and painful spasms or jerking movements of the arms and legs. 
  • Numbness or Tingling: As multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the nervous system, your nerves can become damaged. You may not feel (numbness) or have conflicting signals (tingling) in parts of your body. 
  • Vertigo or Dizziness: Balance issues are common with multiple conditions and diseases, including multiple sclerosis. This can have you feeling dizzy or lightheaded and often occurs after you stand up.
  • Bladder Control Issues: Approximately 80% of people affected by multiple sclerosis have dysfunctional bladder symptoms including inability to hold urine, feeling like you have to urinate often, or strong urges to urinate.
  • Memory and Attention Span Difficulties: People with multiple sclerosis often have difficulties with their attention span, organization, short or long term memory, and even difficulty speaking.
  • Depression and Other Emotional Changes: Severe depression, mood swings, or irritability are common symptoms for people affected by multiple sclerosis. The emotion difficulties can even include unexplained laughter or crying.

Contact Regional Neurological Associates

At our New York practice, based in the Bronx with satellites throughout Westchester and Manhattan, the board-certified physicians at Regional Neurological Associates manage a range of neurologic conditions including multiple sclerosis. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call (718) 515-4347 to schedule an appointment.

Recent Advances in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

MRI image of human brain with red color marked focal lesion in the hospital room.; Blog: Recent Advances in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease


The 21st century has seen amazing progress on the front of understanding diseases that affect the central nervous system. Much of the research done has been targeted on gaining an insight into the disease process, distinguishing exactly which genetic mutations cause the disease to manifest and how these mutations progress to a pathological state.

In the case of Parkinson’s disease, we know that this mutation is of the LRRK2 gene. Much of the work done originally to combat this involves blocking this gene. However, early success was limited due to complications associated with early medications that specifically targeted it. 

Because of this toxicity, researchers have started to work backward in their approach to combating the symptoms and effects of Parkinson’s disease. This has been done by going back to medications used for other conditions, such as asthma and metabolism maintenance in the stomach, and looking at the potential benefits these medications have when combating Parkinson’s. 

A great deal of the focus of these medications is to slow or stop the breakdown of nerve signals, the symptom most commonly associated with the disease, as well as maintaining a healthy gut as there has been increasing speculation on whether the LRRK2 gene targets the gut or the brain initially. There has been a great deal of work in recent years that looks at the association between the gut and the brain, hence the push for probiotics as a means of combatting mental health. It is believed that the pathological state of Parkinson’s disease may follow a similar avenue of convection. 

Another avenue of treatment that has gained significant traction is limiting the inflammatory issues that target the nervous system in a diseased state. The approach to limiting this and potentially slowing the progression of symptoms has been taken by incorporating medications that were originally designed for combating autoimmune disorders, showing strong signs of early success across clinical trials. 

While there is not yet a cookie-cutter treatment approach to significantly slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease, it is optimistic to believe that the next ten years could see significant progress. The prognosis for slowing the progression of Parkinson’s is increasingly hopeful due to the innovation guiding new treatment options and medication development.

About Regional Neurological Associates

At Regional Neurological Associates, we combine neurology and psychiatry to provide you with the most unique and comprehensive care. Our expert team is dedicated to state-of-the-art individualized care and stays up-to-date on the latest advances for the treatment of neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease. 

If you are experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or are living with the disease and would like a second opinion regarding your treatment plan, call Regional Neurological Associates at (718) 515-4347 to schedule an appointment today. One of our expert physicians will review your medical history and conduct a comprehensive neurological examination. With an accurate diagnosis and proper care, maintaining a great quality of life with Parkinson’s Disease is possible.

5 Types of Headaches Explained

Closeup of young man touching temples with fingers as if suffering from severe migraine, feeling sick, isolated on gray background; Blog: Types of Headaches


Headaches are a strikingly common medical complaint that nearly all of us have experienced at one point or another. They are quite often described with vulgar language while individuals experience extreme discomfort during an episode. 

Before going into some of the more common types of headaches that individuals face, it is important to state that one should always seek medical attention following any type of trauma affecting the head, neck or spine that causes severe pain or neurological deficiency. This may be indicative of a much more severe problem than a typical headache and could be life-threatening if not addressed quickly.

Despite how common they are, there are a number of complexities that differentiate each episode from one another based on the mechanism of onset, presentation of symptoms, location of pain and potential management for the condition. Below are five of the more common types of headaches that people commonly face:

1. Tension Headaches

Tension headaches affect approximately 3 out of 4 people at some point in their lives and can be brought on by a number of different reasons. Often, they result following emotional distress, stress or strong emotional distraught, or general tension in the neck and shoulders. The pain will usually be focalized in the back and sides of the neck as well as the base of the neck, especially when the muscles of the neck and shoulders start to spasm. Management is best done using over the counter anti-inflammatory medication or heat on the back of the neck. These headaches usually do not persist for long.

2. Migraines

 Migraines are less common than tension headaches but are widely considered to be much more severe in both symptoms and duration, lasting up to multiple days at a time with little to no relief. While they are not as well understood as other types of headaches, there are a number of triggers that can lead to an episode, such as stress or missing meals. Often there may be visual disturbances along with intense pain on one side of the head. Management is often addressed with medication, either over the counter or prescribed, removal of triggers and escaping to a dark, quiet room.

3.  Sinus Headaches 

Sinus headaches occur when pressure in the sinuses of the head build-up in conjunction with severe congestion. Often, this will occur seasonally as allergies are in full swing. Often, they will present with pain in the front of the head as well as potential earaches. Utilizing allergy medication to reduce sinus symptoms may help reduce the frequency and severity of sinus headaches.

4. Exertional Headaches

Intense physical activity such as running, jumping, heavy weight lifting n may cause exertional headaches. Often, these types of headaches result from a build-up in pressure that occurs while performing activity, causing a strain on the body as a whole but especially the head. They usually subside quickly and may be aided by over the counter medication.

5. Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are named such because they tend to recur over a period of several weeks. They usually present with pain limited to one side of the head, typically around one eye. In most cases, medication will need to be prescribed to manage the condition and make symptoms more bearable. Often, the individual episodes will last less than 3 hours.

When to Seek Treatment

If you are experiencing chronic headaches or head pain that does not line up with any of the types of headaches listed above, it is advised to seek medical attention to identify the source of your pain.  

One of the oldest neurology practices in the Bronx and Westchester, the physicians at Regional Neurological Associates specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of neurological conditions including chronic headaches such as migraines. To schedule an appointment, call (718) 515-4347.