The mission of the division of functional neurosurgery is to improve and restore the functionality of patients with non-structural diseases, which include movement disorders, chronic pain and epilepsy.
The division is affiliated with the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, the UC Epilepsy Center and the Pain Clinic, all located at University Hospital. Diseases treated include Parkinson’s, cervical and generalized dystonias, essential tremor, chronic pain syndromes, trigeminal neuralgia and epilepsy.
The division has a long history of treating functional neurologic disorders and utilizing the most advanced techniques and technology. Working as a close-knit, multi-disciplinary team, providers review patients for surgical and medical management. Currently available treatments for movement disorders include deep brain stimulation and ablative procedures.
Procedures for the treatment of chronic pain disorders (cancer, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, back pain and facial pain) include intrathecal pain pumps, spinal cord stimulation, DREZ, percutaneous radiofrequency lesions, vagus nerve stimulation and deep-brain or motor-cortex stimulation. Residents participate in these procedures during the course of their training.
The division also pursues leading-edge research and clinical trials for movement disorders and chronic pain. Investigations include intrathecal zoconotide for chronic pain, posturagraphy laboratory studies of movement disorders and GPi-DBS for dystonic disorders.
The division enjoys partnerships with the Davis Phinney Foundation and the Brian Grant Foundation, both named for former athletes who developed early-onset Parkinson’s disease. The Davis Phinney Foundation, named for the first American cyclist to win a stage of the Tour de France, made its first major grant for Parkinson’s research to UC in 2004.