Health Resources


Physicians in Wilmington Health Neurology diagnose and treat disorders of the central
and peripheral nervous systems, which include the brain, spinal cord, and nerves in the
body. Patients who suffer from headaches, back and neck problems, seizures, memory
loss, and other brain disorders may seek the assistance of a neurologist. Neurologists
also diagnose and treat muscle diseases and diagnose or rule out conditions such as
epilepsy, brain tumors, brain injuries, and stroke.

Wilmington Health’s state-of-the-art equipment enables us to perform testing and
analysis on-site without referring patients out of the area.
Additional neurology services and resources

The sections below offer information on a range of common issues, procedures,
diagnostic tools and more within the field of neurology. For more details on any of the
specific subject areas listed below, click on your particular area of interest to expose
more related topics, along with additional information on each.

A progressive brain disease that causes a gradual loss of memory — along with a steady impairment of thought processes such as reasoning and judgement — Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting more than 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older. The disease’s symptoms typically begin with mild memory loss and often progress to a loss of the patient’s ability to respond to his or her environment, carry on a conversation and perform everyday tasks.

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by changes in the brain that cause it to shrink and, eventually, leads to the death of brain cells. One of the disease’s hallmarks is the presence of abnormal clumps in the brain called amyloid plaques, along with tangled fiber bundles called neurofibrillary tangles. And while the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, family history and advanced age are considered risk factors, with the vast majority of Alzheimer’s patients age 65-plus.

While there is currently no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, medicines are available that may slow the progression of symptoms or improve the quality of life for patients and their caregivers.

Headaches can have a range of different causes. Typically resulting from stress or inadequate nutrition, they can also sometimes be indications of serios medical issues or infections. Some of the different types of headaches are detailed below.

  • Vascular headaches: A type of headache involving the blood vessels, vascular headaches include:
    – Migraine headaches: Typically lasting about a day and often recurring regularly in patients who experience them, migraine headaches are the most common type of vascular headaches. They tend to present on one side of the head and are often accompanied by sensitivity to light and/or sounds.
    – Toxic headaches: The second-most-common type of vascular headache, toxic headaches often accompany infections such as the flu or pneumonia. They can also be caused by exposure to chemicals, carbon monoxide or alcohol.
    – Cluster headaches: Known for presenting in groups (hence the name “cluster”), cluster headaches  tend to strike quickly. They typically last a half-hour to 45 minutes before subsiding, only to reappear once or multiple times throughout the day — and they can be among the most severe and pain-inducing of all headache types.
    – Hypertension-related headaches: These headaches are caused by elevated blood pressure in the patient.
  • Tension headaches: Also known as muscle-contraction headaches, tension headaches typically accompany a tightening of the muscles in the face and/or neck — and they’re the type of headache most people are familiar with. The headaches can be associated with physical problems, or they can accompany emotional/mental issues like anxiety or depression. Tension headaches can occur randomly when a patient is tired or stressed (causing them to be categorized as episodic), or can occur more regularly (causing them to be categorized as chronic — and making them worthy of alerting a care provider).
  • Rebound headaches: Typically caused by over-medicating a previous headache, especially with a medication containing caffeine, rebound headaches tend to set in when medications begin to wear off. These headaches can also be caused by ingesting large amounts of caffeine via, for example, coffee and/or soft drinks.
  • Traction headaches: These headaches often result from a stretching, pulling ore displacement of some of the more pain-sensitive areas of the head, such as the muscles in the eye as a result of eyestrain. On much rarer occasions, they can also be indicative of much more serious conditions such as brain tumors, for example.
  • Inflammatory headaches: A type of headache that results from other ailments or disorders, inflammatory headaches are most commonly exemplified by sinus headaches, which are often caused by infections, allergies or other issues in the sinus cavity. Less commonly, they can also have other causes, sometimes being serious conditions requiring immediate medical attention such as meningitis, strokes, aneurysms or vascular lesions.

Made up of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (the nerves found throughout the rest of the body), the nervous system carries the signals/information responsible for our sensations, movements, thoughts, memories and feelings back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body.

For more information on some of the issues that affect the brain and nervous system, including a range of mental health conditions, see the “Conditions of the brain and nervous system” entry below.

Characterized by uncontrollable movement, stiffening and twitching in the body of affected patients, along with temporary changes in behavior, feelings and awareness, seizures are caused by a sudden burst of electrical activity in the brain’s nerve cells (aka the neurons). With more than 30 different types having been identified by medical professionals, seizures can present with a broad range of symptoms and severity. They can be one-off events with an acute cause such as a medication, or they can be recurring events — with regular recurrence considered to be a condition known as epilepsy. Seizures can last for just a few seconds or continue for minutes, with seizures lasting for longer than five minutes typically considered to be medical emergencies. Treatment for seizures vary depend on the seizure type, with the options including professional counseling, medication, dietary changes and surgery.