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Clinical Neurosciences Programs

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Neurology Programs

Calgary Stroke Program - Director, Dr. Andrew Demchuk

The Calgary stroke program is recognized as one of the leading programs internationally for stroke treatment and research. Alberta Health Services (AHS), the University of Calgary, the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and our program work alongside other departments to provide quality acute, rehabilitative, and preventative care to people with stroke and their families.

Calgary Epilepsy Program - Director, Dr. Neelan Pillay

The Calgary epilepsy program consists of a unique core of specialists working together to provide comprehensive care for epilepsy patients. As one of the premiere epilepsy centres in Canada, this team works collaboratively to find the most appropriate treatment for each patient, developing innovative ways to diagnose and treat epilepsy in children and adults. Patients and families often present with complex needs arising from the impact of this chronic illness on their ives. This, coupled with the experience of change in their disease process nd their response to treatment, makes it increasingly important to maximize the full potential of each individual with epilepsy in our community using an integrated care approach. The Calgary epilepsy program strives to be a centre for clinical and academic excellence through the improvement of consolidated clinical services, education, and research that will enhance local and national initiatives to improve care for patients.

Calgary Headache Assessment Management Program (CHAMP) – Medical Lead, Dr. Jeptha Davenport; Clinic Coordinator, Irene O’Callaghan, RN

The headache program is a unique collaboration between the Calgary Pain Program, of which it is an integral part, and which funds clinic staff and administrative support, and the Division of Neurology, contributing neurologists and facilities.  CHAMP, part of the larger Headache Program, is supported by more than 20 team members working together to provide: diagnostic services for difficult to diagnose headache patients, state-of-the-art pharmacological management for patients with headache disorders including cluster headache, migraine, tension-type headache, and other headache disorders, and behavioural modalities for headache management. Headache Program team member professions include:  nursing, administrative support, neuropsychiatry, anesthesiology, family practice, psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and kinesiology.  As a valuable resource for the primary care physicians of southern Alberta, CHAMP received 1,830 referrals in 2011-2012, and 1,935 referrals in 2012-2013.

The program is actively engaged in clinical research, including both industry-sponsored clinical trials and clinical trials initiated by the
program. Current active areas of research include the role of exercise in migraine management, and the treatment of medication overuse headache. CHAMP is also involved in many aspects of medical, nursing, and patient education in headache medicine, locally, nationally, and internationally. CHAMP members are involved in the organization and delivery of the Canadian Headache Society National Neurology Resident Headache Course, and in the Internationsl Headache Academy.

Cognitive Neurosciences Program - Director, Dr. Eric Smith

The cognitive neurosciences program provides expert medical consultation for cognitive disorders, educates undergraduate and postgraduate learners regarding the medical evaluation and treatment of dementia and milder forms of impaired cognition, and conducts research on the causes and treatment of cognitive disorders. The cognitive neurosciences clinic is the only specialty clinic in Calgary for early onset cognitive disorders and dementia and the only cognitive specialty clinic staffed by a combination of neurologists and psychiatrists. The clinical research program is supported by the Hotchkiss Brain Institute as well as several external funding agencies.

Movement Disorder Program - Director, Dr. Ranjit Ranawaya

Movement disorders are diseases that result in involuntary movements such as tremor, dystonia, chorea, bradykinesia (slowness) and tics. These disorders cause significant disability in one of every 100 Albertans and impacts over 30,000 Albertan families. The program provides a multidisciplinary clinic with a staff of over 20 individuals including specialists in neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, nursing, social work, psychology, and physiotherapy. The program treats over 2,000 patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Approximately 2,000
patients are followed with close to 10,000 patient visits per year.

Multiple Sclerosis Program - Director, Dr. Luanne Metz

The MS clinic is excited to announce the opening of a satellite MS clinic at South Health Campus (SHC). Physicians moving to the new campus include Drs. Patry, Pearson, and Alikhani. Our rehabilitation specialist, Dr. McGowan, will work at both SHC and Foothills Medical
Centre (FMC). All remaining physicians as well as the pediatric clinic and clinical trial visits will continue to be provided at the FMC. Nursing support for those who transfer to SHC will be provided by MS nurses who have undergone an extensive orientation and training process.
The satellite MS clinic at SHC will provide a much needed increase in space and resources for both staff and patients. Providing additional nursing and rehabilitation staff to our clients will help balance patient loads and accommodate an increased need for capacity throughout
Southern Alberta. This will allow the MS clinic to continue providing top-notch rehabilitation, mental health, and neuropsychology services to all patients no matter which clinic they attend. To that end, we are currently working with our patients to try to accommodate
site and physician preferences. Fourteen physicians now work in our MS clinic including 10 neurologists, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, a neuropsychiatrist and a pediatric neurologist. Most neurologists have one to two days of MS clinic per week as all our physicians have other responsibilities including caring for hospitalized patients. Although most of our MS Clinic neurologists have a full MS practice we’ve added several new neurologists. This was to accommodate the expansion to SHC and meet our growing needs. These additional physicians have helped reduce MS clinic wait times.

Neuromuscular Program - Director, Dr. Chris White

The Neuromuscular program was established in 1992 to meet the overall health needs of people with peripheral nerve, muscle and neuromuscular junction disorders. The mission of this program is to provide timely, expert and comprehensive consultation and care to patients with neuromuscular disorders. Additionally, this program aims to provide state of the art diagnostic and treatment services as well as developing cutting edge research. To date, the program consists of four sub-specialty clinics: the neuromuscular clinic, the ALS clinic, the peripheral nerve injury clinic and the neuropathic pain clinic. Within the next five years, the neuromuscular program will develop into a newly constituted program cluster known as the southern Alberta nerve and muscle program. The vision of this program is to emerge into an internationally recognized program model for access and evidenced based and compassionate care for patients with nerve and
muscle disorders.

Neuro-opthalmology Program - Director, Dr. William Fletcher

Neuro-Ophthalmology is a joint program of the Divisions of Neurology and Ophthalmology. The Neuro-Ophthalmology clinic, located in the eye clinic at Rockyview General Hospital, provides expert diagnosis and care for patients with vision or eye movement problems caused by disorders of brain, nerve or muscle. Most patients are referred to the clinic by ophthalmologists, neurologists and neurosurgeons.
Typical presenting problems include unexplained loss of vision, optic nerve swelling, visual field defects, double vision, eye oscillations (e.g., nystagmus) and pupillary disorders. Patients seen in the neuro-ophthalmology clinic often require special investigations such as computerized visual field testing, retinal photography, electroretinography, optical coherence tomography and orthoptics.
The neuro-ophthalmology program is actively involved in the education of residents and fellows, and in research.

Tourette & Pediatric Movement Disorders - Director, Dr. Tamara Pringsheim

Since the opening of the Calgary Tourette and Pediatric Movement Disorders Clinic in April of 2008, the clinic has assessed more than 600 new patients. This team provides consultation and continuing care for children and adults with Tourette Syndrome. This includes children with other movement disorders such as motor stereotypies, tremor and dystonia. The clinic has become a referral centre for southern Alberta, as well as neighbouring communities in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The program provides evaluation and treatment for other common conditions seen in conjunction with Tourette Syndrome, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Urgent Neurology Clinic - Director, Dr. Alexandra Hanson

The Urgent Neurology Clinic provides a consultation service for patients requiring an urgent neurological assessment in an out-patient setting. Its mandate is to serve patients within one week and strives to see patients within 72 hours. Further investigations are then provided in a timely manner. The Urgent Neurology Clinic has been providing this service for southern Alberta and eastern British Columbia since 2000. The Urgent Neurology Clinic is a single programme which has clinics at both the Foothills Medical Centre and South Health Campus.

Programs Continued