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Institute for Neurosciences

At St. Luke’s Institute for Neurosciences, our mission is to provide outstanding clinical care, mold future neurologists and neurosurgeons, and to be an international leader in clinical and basic research on the disorders of the nervous system. By bringing scientific research and discovery from the bench to the bedside we hope to improve the lives of our patients.


With the country’s most advanced and most comprehensive diagnostic and treatment facilities, our team of neurologists and neurosurgeons offer diagnostic evaluation, consultation and management to a wide range of pediatric and adult neurological diseases of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves or muscles.


Patients can avail of the Institute’s facilities like the Neurocritical Care Unit, Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory, Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Acute Stroke Unit, Neuro-Ophthalmology Service, and Hearing and Balance Disorders Laboratory. The country’s first Comprehensive Stroke Services offers Brain Attack Prevention and an Acute Brain Attack Program specially designed to meet the needs of patients.


The Institute’s Neurosurgery Section pioneered in minimally invasive neurosurgery in the country. It is the country’s leading and most experienced team performing Stereotactic Radio Surgery, Endoscopic and Keyhole Neurosurgery as well as Cerebrovascular, Epilepsy and Spine Surgery, Image-Guided Surgery, and Pediatric and Functional Neurosurgery.


The Neurocritical Care Unit provides monitoring for potential deterioration, administration of emergency medications and intensive care of critically-ill neurologically-impaired patients. Similarly, a special Acute Stroke Unit is a specialized unit for the comprehensive treatment of patients with acute stroke.


Epileptics can now look forward to a multi-disciplinary service dedicated solely to their care through the Institute’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Program. This program offers a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic services which includes an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, also the first of its kind in the country which accurately diagnoses seizure types, a very important step in determining treatment strategy. Other diagnostic and ancillary procedures available are equipment for video-EEG monitoring, portable teledigital EEG, anti-epileptic drug level determination, epilepsy surgery, ketogenic diet treatment program, and Vagus Nerve Stimulation.


In partnership with the Research and Biotechnology Division, the St. Luke’s Institute of Neurosciences established the Stroke Data Bank to fully understand and effectively fight stroke or “brain attack", one of the leading causes of disability and mortality worldwide. At St. Luke’s Medical Center alone, more than 600 strokes are admitted annually. The Stroke Data Bank aims to determine the epidemiology of the stroke and its subtypes in the hospital-based population, analyze the effect of established and less established risk factors in the development of stroke, determine the short and long-term prognosis after a stroke including risk of recurrence, compare efficacy of different treatment modalities for acute and non-acute stroke, estimate enrollment of stroke patients in future clinical trials, and disseminate information about stroke prevention to the public, as well as report the results of the study to the local and international medical community.


As the country’s leader in the field of Neurosciences, the Institute is also home to five highly specialized centers manned by experts trained locally and abroad. One of these is the Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center which provides a comprehensive and coordinated multidisciplinary approach to the care of adult and pediatric patients with brain and spinal cord tumors, and systemic cancer. The Center is manned by the Brain Tumor Board which is composed of specialists from neurology, neurosurgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, neuroradiology, nuclear medicine, neuropathology, psychiatry, pain management, and nursing.


Another center of excellence under the Institute is the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center which offers a multi-disciplinary team approach to sleep disorders using the combined expertise and experience of neurologists, pulmonologists (adult and pediatric), psychiatrists, and otorhinolaryngologists, all of whom are board certified in their fields of specialty with a common subspecialty in Sleep Medicine. The center boasts of a computerized sleep monitoring system as well as a six-week Insomnia Treatment Program which is a comprehensive approach using a broad range of treatment modalities with proven efficacy.


St. Luke’s Memory Center is a hospital-based multi-disciplinary service providing a range of detailed assessment, management and advisory services for individuals with memory complaints and dementia. The Memory Center handles patients, young or old, with memory disorders or in various stages of dementia. It is part of treatment continuum in collaboration with the hospital’s geriatric, neurologic and psychiatric services.


The Memory Enhancement Program (MEP), a hospital-based out-patient plan, provides detailed diagnosis and Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for individuals with memory and associated cognitive difficulties. Experts in charge of the program include neurologists, psychologists, nurse clinicians, an occupational therapist, and a data manager.


The Movement Disorders Center is a facility for the clinical assessment and management of various movement disorders with particular emphasis on Parkinson’s Disease, tremor disorders, myoclonus, chorea, dystonia, tic disorders, and tardive syndromes. The Center has state-of-the-art neurophysiological equipment which greatly fosters the detailed study of various movement disorders. Effective management of various movement disorders is stressed, utilizing the latest knowledge in pharmacotherapy, physical and occupational therapy, psychotherapy and, when applicable, surgery.


Created for the interdisciplinary evaluation and management of children and adolescents up to 18 years of age who manifest developmental or behavioral problems in the cognitive, motor, communicative and/or academic realms is the Neurodevelopmental Center. Some indications of developmental disabilities are poor head control at three months of age, failure to sit alone at 10 months, tantrums, hyperactive/uncooperative or oppositional behavior, poor eye contact, short attention span, and repetitive/unusual behavior not found in other kids of the same age.


St. Luke’s Neurodevelopmental team of physicians, child neurologists, neurophychologists, speech-language pathologists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, educational specialists, social workers and nurses provide such services as: neurodevelopmental screening/surveillance of high risk neonates, infants and young children; neurodevelopmental evaluation of infants and young children; child psychiatric evaluation and counseling; neurophysiological evaluation; speech-language evaluation and therapy; occupational therapy; and music and play therapy.


The Mood Clinic was created to provide a comprehensive treatment approach to patients with mood disorders. With people leading very stressful lives, more cases of depression have been reported. Not too many people know that depression is a treatable illness involving an imbalance of brain chemicals called neuro-transmitters. It is not a character flaw or a sign of personal weakness. The Clinic also serves as a liaison with other mood programs locally and internationally. It also aims to generate research studies involving mood disorders.

Stroke Service

The Brain Attack Team (BAT)

A stroke or a "brain attack" occurs when an artery is blocked or when a blood vessel ruptures, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these two events happens, blood flow to the brain is disrupted; this causes brain cells to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities that are controlled by that area of the brain are lost. This can include communication problems, strength, sensation, and memory. How the patient is affected depends on the location and extent of brain tissue involved. The best way to minimize damage and prevent permanent loss is to transport a stroke or "brain attack" victim to the nearest hospital with facilities for acute stroke care as quickly as possible.


In order to do this, one must be aware of the symptoms of a stroke to address it properly and in a timely manner. Symptoms to watch out for include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • sudden weakness or numbness of one side of the body;
  • sudden slurring of speech or difficulty understanding;
  • sudden impairment of vision in one eye;
  • and sudden dizziness or unusual headaches


If detected early enough, a stroke may be treated with a medication that can reverse the effects of the stroke—leaving the patient without permanent damage. As they say "time is brain" and the longer one waits the more brain cells die.


At St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City, the Brain Attack Code was conceptualized to ensure that stroke is treated correctly and quickly to prevent permanent loss and minimize disability. Once the brain attack alarm is sounded, a strict timetable is followed by the Brain Attack Team (BAT) to ensure the best and quickest treatment. Within ten minutes upon arrival in the emergency room, the stroke patient is identified by the ER physician and a brain attack code is called. Within 15 minutes, the Stroke Team evaluates the patient and assesses his or her condition. Within 25 minutes, a CT scan or an MRI is performed and an interpretation of the imaging is made within 45 minutes. Within an hour upon arrival in the ER, the course of treatment is decided on and proper medication must be given. Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA), also known as a "clot buster", may be administered to certain patients and those who arrive within 3 hours from the onset of stroke symptoms. This medication can possibly restore blood flow to the affected area of the brain by disintegrating the clot.


The core of the Brain Attack Code is the Brain Attack Team composed of ER physicians, stroke neurologists and stroke nurse specialists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, physical therapists, nutritionists and nurses. The multidisciplinary approach to stroke aims to minimize the volume of brain tissue that may be damaged, prevent complications, reduce disability and handicap from occurring, and prevent stroke recurrence.


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