I’m Amy Bradley and we are back at the Kentucky Science Center with a look at our body’s most complex and fascinating organ - the Brain.
About one-thousand milliliters, or three soda cans of blood, flow through the brain every minute. During a stroke that blood flow is interrupted and doctors say every second makes a difference.
Too often people do not recognize the signs of stroke. In just a few minutes we’ll give you an easy way to remember those signs – stay tuned because it is something that could truly save the life of someone you love.
Visitors to the East Kentucky Science Center can explore a real human brain from all angles … now, thanks to the very latest technology, so can surgeons at Memorial Medical Center.
My dad Rex is funny, helpful, smart and able to recall the smallest details of things that happened years ago … Just don’t ask him what he had for lunch or where he parked the car.
Dad talks about short term memory problems.
My dad is one an estimated 10 million Americans with a brain aneurysm, a balloon-like enlargement of an artery in the brain. My Dad’s aneurysm happened nearly 26-years ago. He was lucky, instead of bursting, his leaked, causing him to go into a seizure.
Mom/Dad describes what happened …
Prior to his surgery Dad’s doctors warned us of many possible complications. The exact location of the brain aneurysm would determine his outcome and could potentially affect things like speech, his ability to walk, talk, even remember me, my sister and my mom.
Mom – talks about what doctors said
Short term memory complications aside, Dad is doing well and now doctors say technology like the new Artis Zee Angiography suite at Memorial Medical Center is giving patients and surgeons an advantage they did not have before.
Dr. Gary Kramer “Traditionally, old Angiographic Suites did everything just two-dimensionally. So you looked at your image and you saw what looks like a flat piece of paper like you had a drawing on it. What the Artis zee does is it’s able to take the C-arm which swings around a patient, which is always traditionally what they did, but now it swings around quickly and the computer technology that’s in there is able to shift all the imaging to a workstation and within a minute take those images and reconstruct them. So put them in a new image frame and enable you to get a three-dimensional image.”
“Now, we can do one spin in about a 270 degree arch and take that reconstructed image and look at it in every plane. So we’ve now just reduced the contrast. We’ve now reduced the radiation dose to the patient and we’ve also now found almost what the surgeons like to call a surgical view. They can actually perceive the images exactly how they’re going to see them when they’re inside operating on a patient. So it brings tremendous value, not only to the surgeon but also it’s safer and better for the patient.”
The only system of its kind between Philadelphia and Cleveland, doctors say the images are spectacular.
Dr. Kramer “We have now flat-panel detectors and the flat-panel increases the resolution three-fold so that we can now depict smaller vessels… 14:03:16:00 We can then apply that technology, not only for the brain but for the chest if we’re doing something in your chest, for the pelvis if we’re doing a uterine artery embolization on a female.”
New Technology is also having an impact in other brain related diagnosis – like brain tumors.
Dr. Ibrahim Sbeitan “GliaSite; it stands as a new radiation technique and it’s very helpful in certain patients that meet the criteria. It allows us to provide such a high volume of radiation with minimal side effects. So the outcomes are really good and we started doing this since Dr. Bowles came into town.”
Dr. Bowles “The radiation is put into a balloon. So when I remove the tumor I implant this special balloon which will hold the liquid radiation … the patient can go home and let the radiation do its work. …They receive the radiation at home over three to five days, and then once the radiation is complete they'll come back to the hospital, then I'll remove the balloon…It's always going to improve patient survival because you're providing more radiation safer. You can provide a higher dose. You can provide it in a way that you're not going to damage the normal brain.”
Studies show Gliasite can improve patient survival by 43-percent.
Dr. Sbeitan “Cancer is not a death sentence anymore. People with cancer are surviving their cancers, doing very well. There are plenty of treatments available. There has been tremendous explosion in knowledge, newer treatments in cancer in general and this will continue on for quite a few years. So right now the aim is to cure patients. If we cannot cure them then the aim is to control their disease and that’s what we have been doing.”
In fact, success in treating cancer patients has led to higher volumes and the need for Memorial’s Cancer Care Center to hire another medical oncologist – Dr. Hasan Bit.
Dr. Bit “ The cure rate is high now compared with before. Even if you cannot cure the patient, we can control the disease for a longer time. We can prolong the survival of patients with a brain tumor nowadays as well as patients with other types of cancer.”
And doctors, while excited about the new technology they have now, believe even greater things lie ahead.
Dr. Sbeitan “We started targeting certain receptors on the tumor cells. We started targeting the genes of the cancer cells and this treatment is fancy treatment but with excellent outcomes. So the current generation and the future generation of treatments is different from the older one with much better outcomes…I believe that during my time, in the coming few years that patients with cancer will come in and will enjoy a very good life with the cancer being controlled, minimal side effects from the treatments, and the suffering from cancer in general will be gone.”
Amy On-Camera Tag:
For more information on the treatments and technology highlighted here today log onto our website conemaugh.org or call our 24-hour Nurse Connection at 1-800-587-5875.
Coming up next …He was just acting a bit off, a little confused.
Find out how quick thinking and knowing the warning signs of a stroke made all the difference …