At Bayfront Health, you’ll find unmatched expert and compassionate care for conditions and disorders affecting the nervous system — spanning the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Our multidisciplinary team of dedicated professionals provides leading-edge diagnostic testing and the latest treatment options across emergency, inpatient and outpatient settings. Our specialists develop care plans that combine advanced technologies, minimally invasive procedures and rehabilitative therapies tailored to each individual’s unique needs. The neurosciences team at Bayfront Health will seamlessly guide you and your loved one through every phase of diagnosis, treatment and recovery, ensuring the best possible outcomes and patient experience.
Our Areas of Expertise
Our expert care covers a wide range of conditions, including:
Dementia is a general term referring to a decrease in cognitive function that impacts daily living activities. Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative form of dementia that causes a progressive decline in memory, judgment, reasoning, language skills, and eventually a person’s ability to function on their own. Our compassionate team of experts provides comprehensive neurological assessments to determine the extent of memory problems and identify the cause — whether dementia or Alzheimer’s disease or some other condition that affects memory.
While there is no single test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, your diagnosis may include a combination or all of these services:
- Comprehensive physical examination
- Review of personal and family medical history
- Lab work such as blood and urine tests to rule out other possible causes of symptoms, such as medication side effects
- Cognitive testing to assess memory, focus, problem-solving, counting and language skills
- Brain imaging tools such as CT scan, PET scan or MRI to check for changes in the makeup of the brain tissue or high protein levels that build up as plaque and is an indicator of Alzheimer’s
An aneurysm is a weak spot on a blood vessel that causes it to bulge until it bursts. Aneurysms can be found anywhere there are blood vessels, including the brain. Often, an aneurysm is not diagnosed until after a rupture has occurred. However, in some instances, imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan or a diagnostic cerebral angiogram allow us to examine the blood vessels within the brain. These tests can be helpful if:
- You have a family history of aneurysms or a genetic condition that can cause one to form
- You are experiencing warning signs caused by an enlarged blood vessel pressing against nerves in the brain, including blurred or double vision, a sudden and severe headache, and weakness and numbness
For aneurysm survivors, our specialists will assess and pair each rehab patient with a multidisciplinary healthcare team to improve cognitive function, motor skills and ability to perform daily activities.
We care for patients at all stages of this condition. Often, we see patients after they come to the ER with the onset of severe symptoms. In other cases, an imaging scan done for some other purpose may show a lesion or sign that requires further assessment, or one of our neurology specialists may find something that suggests a lesion in the brain. We offer a multidisciplinary approach to care, and your expert care team may include a neuropathologist who will provide a diagnosis, a neuroradiologist to evaluate the characteristics of the tumor, a neuro-radiation oncologist who manages treatment, and support teams such as physical and occupational therapy, speech pathology, medicine and rehabilitation.
Living with chronic pain can present many challenges. Our team of specialists will evaluate and diagnose the cause of your pain and work with you to create a unique care plan to relieve your symptoms. We focus on the latest minimally invasive treatments, including nerve ablation, nerve stimulation and injections. Our goal is to deliver the best treatment for your underlying condition and its painful symptoms so you can enjoy an improved quality of life.
Visit our Epilepsy Care page to learn more.
When trauma happens, every minute counts. You need more than an emergency department, and you need it quickly. As a Level II Trauma Center, we have the capabilities to provide highly specialized, and swift, care for the most critical injuries, including traumatic head and spinal cord injuries. Our trauma care includes:
- Quick access to an expert team of neurology trauma specialists
- Intensive care monitoring by trained neurology nurses
- A dedicated brain neurosciences unit
- Inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation programs (ranging from physical therapy to community reintegration)
Patients recovering from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries often require extensive rehabilitation therapy. Our rehabilitation program features both inpatient and outpatient services, providing patients with the support and care they need to successfully return to their home and their community.
More than 70% of Americans will seek medical care for a headache at some time during their lives. A smaller number experience chronic headaches and facial pain, with varying symptoms and levels of intensity. If you are in that group, or having headaches that last more than 48 hours or occur more than four days a month, our specialists can help. We will work with you to gain a better understanding of your pain, potential causes and possible triggers. Determining what triggers episodes can be key to effective treatment. Recommended treatments can include:
- Diet and lifestyle modifications
- Nerve block
Degenerative diseases of the brain often involve a complex combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors, and cause a progressive decline in cognitive and motor functions. Some of the most common include:
- Alzheimer's disease – the most predominant neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive memory loss, cognitive decline and behavioral changes.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that leads to muscle weakness, paralysis and eventually the inability to speak, eat and breathe.
- Huntington’s disease – a hereditary disorder that leads to the deterioration of brain cells, resulting in symptoms that include movement abnormalities, cognitive decline and psychiatric disturbances.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) – an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system in which the protective covering of nerve fibers are destroyed, leading to the disruption of signal transmission and a variety of neurological symptoms.
- Parkinson’s disease – a movement disorder characterized by motor-related symptoms such as tremors, rigidity and bradykinesia (slowness of movements and reflexes).
While no cure currently exists for many of these conditions, advancements in research and technology have produced promising treatment options to slow disease progression, lessen symptoms, improve functional abilities and enhance overall well-being. Treatment approaches can include medications, physical and occupational therapy, assistive devices, and lifestyle modifications.
A seizure is an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain that causes a group of neurons to synchronize and discharge at the same time. When no clear imbalance or dysfunction is found, the cause is attributed to epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by two or more unprompted seizures in one year.
If a person has a seizure not related to epilepsy, treatment is a matter of addressing the cause. Seizures related to epilepsy are usually treated with anti-seizure medications that help prevent them. For those whose seizures cannot be controlled with medication, surgical options and neuromodulation treatment, which involves electrical stimulation from electrodes implanted in the brain, may be effective. Lifestyle changes, including dietary changes, also have been shown to help manage seizures in some patients.
The term sleep disorder refers to conditions that affect your sleep quality, timing or duration and impact your ability to properly function while awake. Many neurological conditions can cause sleep disorders, including chronic conditions like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and acute events like stroke and traumatic brain injury. Neurological-related sleep disorders include:
- Restless legs syndrome
- Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep disorder
- Sleep apnea
- Circadian rhythm disorders
- Central nervous system hypersomnia
Our neurology specialists will work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific neurological condition that may include medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, bright light therapy and lifestyle modifications.
With Bayfront Health St. Petersburg being a Level II Trauma Center, we care for a number of patients suffering from traumatic spinal cord injuries. We also treat patients with a full range of spine conditions to include cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine disorders, deformities and diseases. From common conditions such as disc herniations to more complex issues including spinal tumors, infections and fractures, we offer the most advanced diagnostic tools, treatment technologies and restorative therapies. Our experienced group of neurosurgeons are skilled in complex spine surgery, and procedures include minimally invasive techniques, robotic-assisted surgery, artificial disc replacement and computer navigation. A specialized and multidisciplinary team of professionals will help you through surgery, rehabilitation and recovery with compassion and ongoing support to enhance your functional ability and overall quality of life.
Visit our Stroke Care page to learn more.
Conditions that affect the blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord are known as cerebrovascular disease. While stroke is the most common cerebrovascular disease, our experts have specialized training and experience in diagnosing, treating and managing a full range of cerebrovascular conditions, including:
- Blood vessel malformations
- Brain aneurysms
- Brain or spinal cord injuries
- Blood vessel inflammation (also called cerebral vasculitis)
- Narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the brain, including carotid artery stenosis or vertebrobasilar stenosis
Our vascular neurology services include:
- Evaluating current brain and nervous system health and identifying possible risk factors through:
- Diagnostic imaging tests such as CT scan, MRI and transcranial carotid ultrasound
- Specialized screening tests for conditions such as genetic brain vessel abnormalities, cognitive changes and sleep disorders
- Monitoring of brain and nervous system symptoms or conditions and prescribing any appropriate medications or therapies
- Recommending new, relevant therapies or clinical trials
- Working with your primary care physician, rehabilitation therapists and other specialists to ensure integrated and comprehensive care
Our Leading-Edge Care and Facilities
Bayfront Health’s neurosciences unit features a team of dedicated providers that includes board-certified neurologists, accomplished neurosurgeons, an interventional neuroradiologist and experts specializing in stroke, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease care. These professionals work in close coordination with our highly skilled team of nurses, rehabilitation therapists and support staff to deliver the most comprehensive neurological care. From in-depth diagnosis and evaluation to leading-edge treatment, recovery and rehabilitation services, we stand ready to meet all your neurological needs to improve daily function and enhance overall well-being.
Designed to offer the highest level of diagnostics and treatment for a multitude of neurological disorders, our neurosciences unit features:
- 38 beds dedicated to caring for neurology patients
- Two spacious neurosurgery operating rooms
- 3D imaging system and software
- Advanced digital technologies and equipment, including clot-busting technology
Diagnostics and Screening Programs
Our state-of-the-art neurodiagnostic lab is fully equipped to aid our specialists in diagnosing neurological conditions and evaluating the extent of illness or injury. Diagnostic testing includes:
- Electroencephalograms (EEG)
- Evoked potential tests to evaluate brainstem and the nervous system
- Nerve conduction velocity studies and electromyography
- Long-term video monitoring program for seizure disorder and epilepsy patients
At Bayfront Health, we understand the challenges that can come with a neurological disorder or injury. We are here to care for our patients and their loved ones through diagnosis and treatment as well as the next steps of treatment and recovery. We offer a variety of support groups, including for stroke survivors and brain injury survivors. Support groups can empower patients and families with knowledge and resources needed for their continued recovery and let them know they are not alone.
View Our Network of Neurosciences Care Physicians
Find your doctor from more than 500 specialty and Neurosciences Care Physicians with offices located throughout greater St. Petersburg.