Functional Neurosurgeon Treating Parkinson's, Epilepsy, Dystonia and Chronic Pain With Neurosurgical Interventions Joins Drexel Neurosciences Institute

Dr. James Barrese Provides Deep Brain Stimulation at Aria Health; Will Explore Its Use in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Obesity, Depression

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) August 25, 2015

James Barrese, MD, a neurosurgeon providing deep-brain stimulation (DBS) and other highly specialized treatments for movement-related disorders, pain and epilepsy, has joined Drexel Neurosciences Institute (DNI) and will provide services to patients at Aria Health and other DNI hospital affiliates.

A functional neurosurgeon, Dr. Barrese will lead DNI's Functional Neurosurgery Program and will expand these specialized services to make them available to Bucks County and Philadelphia area patients with Parkinson's disease, tremor, dystonia and other movement disorders as well as intractable pain and epilepsy. He also will explore the use of DBS to treat psychiatric conditions, such as intractable obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and obesity.

Dr. Barrese is among a handful of functional neurosurgeons on the East Coast trained to surgically treat these complex neurological conditions. He completed a Functional Neurosurgery Fellowship at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, one of the world's leading centers of the specialty.

"Dr. Barrese is widely published and brings a wealth of experience and training in these specialized interventions that can greatly improve quality of life for so many patients," said Erol Veznedaroglu, MD, FACS, FAANS, FAHA, Director of DNI.

Dr. Barrese is primarily based at Aria Health, an affiliate of DNI. The relationship brings state-of-the-art neurological and neurosurgical care to area patients as well as access to the latest clinical trials and neuroscience research.

Functional Neurosurgery is an exciting field that uses stimulation of the brain and spinal cord to treat a range of neurological conditions. Dr. Barrese is a specialist in deep brain stimulation, or DBS, as well as other neurosurgical interventions. With DBS, Dr. Barrese implants a thin, insulated wire with four microelectrodes into areas of the brain known to be involved in specific diseases. The device is implanted using image-guided surgical navigation technology, which continuously tracks surgical instruments in relation to the patient's anatomy.

Following the neurosurgical procedure, the brain is stimulated through a small device that is implanted under the skin of the chest. Dr. Barrese then monitors and adjusts the stimulation to significantly relieve tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement and walking problems. The device, called a pulse generator, has been likened to a pacemaker for the brain.

"We see remarkable improvement in our patients, especially older patients with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders," Dr. Barrese said. "Many of our patients are very thankful. With treatment they can return to their lives and many go back to work."

He is among a select group of functional neurosurgeons using the new frameless DBS, which uses a lightweight, less-restrictive platform that gives patients more freedom to move during the surgery while providing surgeons with the same level of accuracy.

Dr. Barrese said unfortunately many patients, as well as some neurologists, are not aware of how DBS can significantly improve quality of life for many patients, in particular those with Parkinson's and other movement disorders.

"We need to get the word out that this is a very good option for the right patient," Dr. Barrese said.

He said he chose to join DNI because the institute is committed to advancing the understanding of neuroscience through interdisciplinary research. He is working closely with Drexel University Departments of Neurobiology and Neuro-Engineering to design new brain-computer interface technologies. His research involves designing and modifying neurosurgical devices and neuro-stimulators to more effectively treat Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, hydrocephalus, and chronic pain. In collaboration with Drexel University, Dr. Barrese is also developing a neuro-prosthetic device that will potentially allow paralyzed patients to control an exoskeleton using a brain implant.

"We are pleased that Dr. Barrese has joined DNI and will be based at Aria Health," said Kathleen Kinslow, CRNA, EdD, MBA, President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Aria Health. "The expansion of functional neurosurgery at Aria's Bucks County and Torresdale hospital locations will be a great asset to many patients whose suffering may be relieved through access to highly specialized neurosurgical interventions right in their local community."

Functional Neurosurgery is a field that allows the surgeon to redirect both physiology and anatomy to treat diseases of the central nervous system. New avenues for treatment in the field are opening up in the area of psychiatric diseases. Dr. Barrese and the DNI team are working to explore new ways brain stimulation can help people with a range of disorders — such as depression, obesity and obsessive compulsive disorders — in patients who do not respond to traditional treatments.

Dr. Barrese also helps patients with intractable pain. Implantable stimulators and pain pumps work directly on the source of the pain and do not require oral medications or narcotics. Many patients experience dramatic relief.

Dr. Barrese is a graduate of the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, and he completed post-graduate training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University — New Jersey Medical School. He also completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at Brown University and a Functional Neurosurgery Fellowship at Stanford University.

Dr. Barrese is the author of many neuroscience research papers and journal articles and has lectured widely. He also has organized relief efforts to underserved communities in the Dominican Republic and Panama.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 844-GNI-NEURO (844-464-6387).

About Drexel Neurosciences Institute

Drexel Neurosciences Institute is an innovative collaboration of Drexel University College of Medicine and Global Neurosciences Institute, LLC (GNI). The Drexel Neurosciences Institute, led by prominent neurosurgeon Erol Veznedaroglu, MD, FACS, FAANS, FAHA, provides an integrated approach to neuroscience-related clinical care, education and interdisciplinary research. The Drexel Neurosciences Institute harnesses the expertise of Drexel Medicine neurologists and researchers, who provide groundbreaking care in areas such as Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, ALS, and chronic pain, combined with the clinical expertise of GNI neurosurgeons, who are among an elite group of dual-trained vascular neurosurgeons able to perform conventional neurosurgery as well as minimally invasive endovascular neurosurgery. DNI's clinical affiliates include Hahnemann University Hospital, Aria Health, Capital Health and Lourdes Health System. For more information, visit

About Aria Health
Aria Health is the largest healthcare provider in Northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County. With three leading-edge community hospitals and a strong network of outpatient centers and primary care physicians, Aria upholds a longstanding tradition of bringing advanced medicine and personal care to the many communities it serves. For more information about Aria Health please visit "Like" Aria Health on Facebook at and "Follow" Aria Health on Twitter at @AriaHealth.

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