In addition to his current services offered, Dr. Ken Sharlin has been busy incorporating new ways to help patients with epilepsy, peripheral neuropathy, and Alzheimer’s disease. Read below to find out more:
Extended Monitoring for Epilepsy Patients
Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder (neurological disorder) in which the nerve cell activity in your brain is disturbed, causing a seizure during which you experience abnormal behavior, symptoms and sensations, including loss of consciousness. (via MayoClinic.org)
Dr. Sharlin is now working with a company called Neuro Quest to provide multi-day video EEG monitoring for epilepsy patients. This type of test involves video monitoring over an extended period of time. It is especially useful when it is unclear whether an anti-epileptic drug is appropriate for a given patient. Before this, OCH was only able to perform an 8 hour video-EEG in the OCH Sleep Lab. The opportunity to work with Neuro Quest now allows him the ability to monitor patients continuously for up to seven days.
New Test for Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy, a result of nerve damage, often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet, but it may also occur in other areas of your body. People generally describe the pain of peripheral neuropathy as tingling or burning, while they may compare the loss of sensation to the feeling of wearing a thin stocking or glove (via MayoClinic.org).
Dr. Sharlin can now offer Punch Biopsy of the Skin (a diagnostic test for skin disorders in which a circular blade is inserted and removed in order to obtain a tissue sample). This type of test is used to look at nerve fiber density. Nerve conduction studies can similarly be used; the downside being that they are only sensitive to large, myelinated sensory fibers, and in many cases of “burning feet” the pathology is limited to the small, unmyelinated C-fibers.
This change affects patients who complain of numb, burning feet and whose nerve conduction study may be normal. For patients such as these, Punch Biopsy of the Skin tests can provide more accurate data to ensure correct diagnosis.
Diagnosis for Alzheimer’s Disease
Dr. Sharlin now has the ability to measure biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid to more confidently make the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (tau protein and a-beta 42).
About Neurology at OCH
Dr. Sharlin is board certified in Neurology. He received his education from Emory University School of Medicine and is currently a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Medical Association. Dr. Sharlin works at Ozarks Community Hospital and at OCH’s Christian County Clinic in Nixa, Missouri. To contact Dr. Sharlin call (417) 875-4665 (Springfield) or (417) 725-8250 (Nixa).