Hospital: MidHudson Regional Hospital
Medical Group: ADVANCED PHYSICIAN SERVICES, WMCHEALTH NETWORK
Special Expertise: Movement Disorders, Parkinson’s Disease, Dystonia, Huntington’s Disease
As MidHudson’s Associate Director of Neurology, Dr. Fabio Danisi focuses on the treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, spasticity, and chronic headaches. He also advocates for healthcare reform and draws attention to urgent public health matters, such as the looming crisis of Alzheimer’s in an aging population.
What burning questions would you like to have answered?
How to treat neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS. These conditions arise from nerve cells overloaded with clumped-up, sticky proteins, like fuel clogging a carburetor. We’re so close to a breakthrough in clearing these proteins and checking their spread, we can almost taste it.
Which breakthroughs in your field excite you?
Better diagnostic tools to intervene before brain damage is done; and advances in deep brain stimulation (DBS) through updates to the hardware: basically, a pacemaker in the brain that emits a low-voltage electrical stimulus.
What’s your pet peeve?
The fact that when you mention Botox, people think of cosmetic intervention. We’ve used Botulinum toxin to truly turn lives around. I have young patients with dystonia, or involuntary movements; their heads will jerk or tilt to one side. The injections relax the over-active muscles to restore function.
Can you share a patient success story?
One patient with dystonia was brought in on a stretcher; after DBS, he walked into the office. Another patient with Parkinson’s had terrible flexion of her trunk, bending almost to 45 degrees, and had to use ski poles to prevent her from falling forward. After DBS, she straightened out. These interventions make a dramatic difference.