Mind Over Matter
Modern neurology offers new options for the diagnosis and treatment of medical challenges
By: Brad Meyer
The occasional pain, headache or sleepless night are parts of life we all endure; but when a discomfort persists – or becomes more acute – it’s important to get serious about finding the real cause of the problem.
The human body is an amazingly complicated work of nature, capable of accomplishing great things. But there are occasions when injury or disease can create dysfunction and discomfort. Left untreated, small problems can escalate and cause more significant medical conditions.
“It’s much better to diagnose and treat a problem in the early stages,” said board certified neurologist Dr. Benny Wang. “Persistent discomfort, pain and seizures are nature’s way of telling you something is wrong and that a proper treatment plan should be put in place.”
Wang, who is also board certified in sleep medicine and EMG/EEG studies, is a Harvard graduate who received his medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He has practiced in The Woodlands/Conroe area for 15 years.
Millions of Americans suffer from neurological disorders, according to the Center for Disease Control. These diseases affect the central and peripheral nervous system, neuromuscular junctions and muscles.
“Problems range from headaches, back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome to neuropathy, seizures, epilepsy, dementia and a range of sleep disorders,” said Wang. “The key to reversing issues or minimizing symptoms is an accurate diagnosis of the root cause of the problem and a comprehensive treatment regimen tailored to your specific needs.”
As a specialist in neurological disorders, Wang is very particular about patient treatment. Unlike many physicians, he personally administers diagnostic testing procedures to assure accuracy and develop a rapport with his patients.
“It’s important for the physician and patient to work together to treat these types of problems,” said Wang. “This is not a one-size-fits-all type of situation. Every person is different so it’s a joint effort to determine the most efficient solution.”
Treatment therapies can include prescription medication, injections, behavior modification, therapeutic massage or other options to provide relief.
In his offices in Conroe and The Woodlands, Wang treats Alzheimer’s disease, dizziness, fibromyalgia, muscle pain and weakness, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathies, migraines, memory problems, stroke, tingling and epilepsy.
Specialized diagnostic tools include electromyography (EMG) and electroencephalograms (EEG). Dr. Wang uses the most up to date treatment options of headaches and migraines, including Botox injections and the specialized CGRP treatment.
“EMG is a good way to evaluate muscles and nerve cells, motor neurons that control them,” said Wang. “We use EMGs to determine the cause of problems like tingling, numbness and muscle pain or weakness. EMG is also useful in diagnosing conditions such as muscular dystrophy, carpal tunnel and peripheral neuropathies.”
The EEG is a safe, painless procedure that uses small electrodes attached to one’s scalp to measure brain activity. As one of the most important tests for diagnosing epilepsy, EEG is also used to evaluate and manage seizures, strokes, memory problems, dementia, head injuries and other conditions.
“A relatively small problem can be aggravated by stress, allergies or other factors,” said Wang. “Where possible, we want to eliminate the original disorder as well as the troublesome symptoms.”
That’s important because seizures, for example, can lead to significant problems – especially for those operating a vehicle or just going about their daily lives. In many cases, seizures can be controlled by medication or specialized treatment options.
Sleep disorders are another area of importance – more than many people realize.
“Sleep is an important part of life,” noted Wang. “Insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and other disorders can reduce the amount and quality of sleep patients get.”
Wang uses polysomnography, or sleep studies, to determine the cause of sleep disorders. The tests use brain waves, heart rate, breathing, eye and leg movement and measure the amount of oxygen in the blood to determine the exact nature of the disorder.
Whatever the problem, once the condition has been diagnosed, the next step is for doctor and patient to discuss treatment options. Neurological diseases can be treated with lifestyle and behavior modification, medication, physical therapy, rehabilitation or surgery depending on the severity of the situation.
“We work closely with our patients and coordinate treatment programs with other physicians or healthcare professionals to achieve the healthiest, most satisfying life possible,” said Wang.
While many of Wang’s patients are referrals from primary care physicians and insurance companies based on his professional reputation, a growing number of patients come to Dr. Wang directly to seek his experience and expertise in neurological disorders.
“My goal is to help people improve their quality of life,” said Wang. “I am privileged to have the training that allows me to help people enjoy life.”
For information on Dr. Benny Wang, visit www.comprehensive-neuro.com or call 832-510-6553.