MUSC Neurosciences, which comprises the Divisions of Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Research, was recognized in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals as among the top 25% programs in the nation. It offers a Joint Commission–certified primary stroke center and a telehealth initiative (REACH MUSC) that has provided more than 4000 telestroke consultations since 2008 to satellite sites throughout South Carolina. MUSC neurosurgeons engage in innovative endovascular procedures, including stroke thrombectomy and aneurysm repair, implantation of deep-brain neurostimulators for conditions like Parkinson’s Disease, and cutting-edge minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery. Its spine surgery program had the sixth best clinical outcomes (observed vs expected mortality) according to calendar year 2012 data from the University HealthSystem Consortium.
A comprehensive level-4 epilepsy center that caters to patients with complex or medically refractory seizures and a Gamma Knife Center of Excellence for treating tumors and other brain lesions with profound precision are also available. MUSC Neurosciences recently established dedicated neurohospitalist and general neurology outpatient programs to further boost the timeliness and quality of both inpatient and outpatient care for common neurological conditions. The department is currently laying the groundwork for the development of a comprehensive Alzheimer’s Disease Center and a Multiple Sclerosis clinical/research program and is fully committed to further expanding its telehealth offerings to help meet the neurological needs of the region’s residents. MUSC has a 16-bed neuroscience intensive care unit, and its nursing staff have been recognized as a BEACON unit by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. MUSC Neurosciences also affiliates with the newly opened Institute for Applied Neurosciences, the mission of which is to accelerate the translation of novel devices and therapeutics into the clinic.
MUSC Neurosciences had the fifth-highest level of funding from the National Institutes of Health for a neurosciences department for federal fiscal year 2012, testimony to the success of its placing researchers and clinicians side by side to help realize the clinical promise of cutting-edge research. Broad research themes among its 35-person Research Division faculty include addiction, cortical physiology/cognitive disorders, demyelinating disorders, movement disorders, neurodegeneration, spinal cord injury, nanotechnology, neuro-oncology, retinal physiology, and stroke.
MUSC clinicians pioneer the ADAPT technique, a direct-aspiration, first-pass technique for stroke thrombectomy.
Bobble-Head Doll Syndrome case solved with minimally invasive endoscopic neurosurgery.
Stereoencephalography offers neurosurgeons and neurophysiologists at MUSC’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center an important new tool to achieve excellent outcomes in patients with intractable focal epilepsy.
Bruce Ovbiagele, M.D., MSc, MAS, is Professor and Chair of Neurology, in the Department of Neurosciences at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Sunil J. Patel, M.D., is Professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical University of South Carolina and President and CEO of the Institute for Applied Neurosciences.