Battling devastating neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis will take countless hours of research. Yet according to the Alzheimer’s Association, less than 1 percent of patients suffering from the disease who are eligible to be involved in a research trial actually participate.
That’s something the doctors of The Neurology Group are trying to change right here in the Capital District. The practice’s eight physicians are experts in treating neurological ailments as varied as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, strokes, Parkinson’s and migraines. But in addition to seeing thousands of patients, members of the practice also engage in groundbreaking research.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in such efforts, said Dr. David Hart. The Neurology Group often participates in pharmaceutical research, partnering with dozens of other research centers worldwide on testing new treatments. Hart, who specializes in Alzheimer’s care, feels there is new hope on the horizon with disease modifying treatments.
“We’ve had some treatments for Alzheimer’s for about the last 20 years, but those treatments have been symptom control,” he said. “What is coming along now is agents that are aimed at altering the disease process itself to try and slow the progression, hopefully to try to stabilize people and reverse the overall process at some point.”
Hart has been practicing with group members since 1993, but The Neurology Group is just a year-and-a-half old. Two practices with decades of experience between them, Upstate Neurology Consultants and Capital Neurology, merged to share resources in a world where new regulations and technological demands seem to pop up every day.
While The Neurology Group prides itself on its role in research endeavors, its doctors are not holed up in labs. They still spend the vast majority of their time treating patients—and they may see many, being the only neurological group practicing at St. Peter’s Hospital.
“I think that we as a group have a patient focused approach,” Hart said. “We’re not just trying to crank patients through as fast as possible. We’re trying to see patients and deal with complex medical problems and address the family’s concerns.”
For families who have loved ones battling ailments like dementia or multiple sclerosis, those concerns can include a whole spectrum of issues including housing, daily care and communication strategies.
The group’s doctors are also part of both the local and medical communities. Several doctors, Hart included, regularly participate in the National MS Society’s Hudson River Ramble 100-mile bike ride. The practice also supports the Alzheimer’s Association and the Epilepsy Foundation through fundraisers.
But what it alls comes back to for Hart and his colleagues is making sure they can do the most good for the most people. That’s what The Neurology Group has three offices — in Albany, Clifton Park and Troy — so as to be more accessible to patients. They’ve also invested in nerve testing equipment so patients don’t have to go to another location for tests. Board certified, fellowship trained physicians can do it all in house.
For more information on The Neurology Group, visit its website .