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Can a C5 C6 bulging disk cause a buzzing/vibratory sensation in my face and neck?

I am a 38 year old female who has spent too much time at doctor's offices this year.  Years' prior to this I would go for an annual physical and a trip or 2 to the doctor for a sinus infection.  I have seasonal allergies that I take zyrtec or xyzol for when needed.  I don't really take any other meds except a daily vitamin when I remember.  My labs have all come back okay so not my thyroid or potassium levels.  
I went to the doctor in late July because I felt like I was vibrating or better yet had buzzing in my R cheek and a migraine.  Nights prior to this I was waking up in the middle of the night with my fingers asleep (pinky and ring fingers on both hands).  I would change postitions and go back to sleep.   We flipped the mattress thinking it may be that.  The next day I woke up and the buzzing is in my legs as well as my R cheek.  I took a Cyclobenzaper at bedtime and it helped me get to sleep.  I start to notice my legs twitcing, not the whole leg but isolated spots in my legs/certain muscles.  This then goes to my eye as well.  This continues and is noticeably worse at nighttime when I am trying to get to sleep.  I notice it gets worse if I do not sleep well.  The initial doctor who saw me for this back in July was a psyiatrist and said that if my symptoms did not go away to see a neurologist.  In early September, I go to see a neurologist.  I have no weakness with these strange sensations so that is a good thing.  My blood pressure is high at the neurologists office so he thinks it is my heart and refers me to a cardiologist.  The cardiologist does a 24 hour holter monitor and basically says my heart is fine.  I go back to the neurologist who then orders and MRI of the brain and neck.  
I do ashtanga yoga and had a neck injury from doing headstand in 2007.  It was never xrayed though.  I did receive PT with Mackenzie approach that was successful.  Back then, I had headaches and terrible pain with turning my head to the right and upward.  
Back to my most recent MRI's.  My insurance would not approve an MRI with contrast so they were done without.  Brain was unremarkable (phew, no MS) and neck states right paracentral disk protrusion at C5-C6 resulting in mild central and moderate right neural foraminal stenosis.  So, that's it!  I am thrilled to find out what the cause of my weird buzzing or "idling" sensation is from.  I go back to PT for more Mackenzie treatment with neck roll backs.  Only thing is that now I have developed tinnitus in my R ear that gets worse when I pull my chin back or when I push against my forehead.  I do my exercises when I feel the idling sensation but don't really think it is working after 3 weeks. I have woken up the past 3 days now exhausted despite a full nights sleep.  It feels like something is flaring up again.  I called the neurologist today and he is starting me on gabapentin, which I filled and am researching online tonight.  I am scared to take it but will to see if my symptoms go away.  I just want this to all stop.  
So, my question is...can someone have muscle twitching, tinnitus, and a vibratory/buzzing feeling all from a protruding disk at level C5 C6 or is something else going on that the doctors are missing?
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1093617 tn?1279302002
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Thank you for your question. Although without being able to examine you I can not offer you the specific advice on diagnosis and treatment that you need, but I would try to provide you some relevant information about your health concern.

Arm/face pain and neck stiffness may appear due to nerve irritation in the cervical (neck) spine because the nerves that supply the arm also start in the upper cervical spine. Mostly, this kind of pain aggravates after turning head and typically occurs in patients with herniation of cervical disc and in patients with marked arthritis of the upper cervical spine. In addition, this pain exacerbates with prolonged sitting in a stooped posture and when working on computers for long hours so this activity should be avoided. Since you are presently suffering from severe pain, please arrange an appointment with a neurologist right away for further assessment & treatment. Your doctor may suggest wearing a cervical collar or suggest some neck exercises as well. Hope this helps.

Take Care & Regards!!!

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Avatar universal
Yes, bulging discs press on nerves and can cause all of those symptoms.Gabapentin/neurontin is for the twitching and maybe other nerve symptoms, which I refused .What about antiinflammatories and muscle relaxants? Take a sleeping pill. Not enough rest does trigger the symptoms from my experience.
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I am not in any pain actually.  Just a constant ringing in my left ear that gets worse with pushing  on my head or pulling my chin back to my chest and a constant feeling that I am vibrating/trembling.  That feeling is mainly in my face, lips and neck.  I should mention that it cannot actually be seen though.  Sometimes it is worse like when I am trying to go to bed and most recently after a late girl's night out the next couple of days.  Today is day 3 of gabapentin and today my symptoms were still there, but barely noticeable until now, bedtime.  I also take this pill at night and so it has likely worn off.  
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Did you have a bulging disk?  Do you still have symptoms?  How long did it take to resolve if it did?  Curious if you saw a chiro?  That is something I am contemplating.
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I had 2 herniated discs, stenosis and DDD(bone spurs/arthritis). Neck pain started in January with radiculopathy and Epidural injection threw me into alot of neuro symptoms and after a nightmare of specialists (many could not figure me out) I agreed with my NYC surgeons. My symptoms did not go away after 6 months so I had surgery to decompress my spine. The symptoms could have progressed to needing a cane, walker or wheelchair, so I felt I had to do the surgery. Not to mention how it was affecting my quality of life. I am now 9 weeks post-op and still waiting for symptoms to go away. It may take a long time. I am now getting intermittant radiculopathy, shooting head and wierd ear pain. I put a call into the surgeon. I may have some nerve damage. Hopefully the new discs are not causing this.
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Good morning!  I have been doing a little perusing of this site this morning as I am currently "laid up" following my 3rd cervical spine surgery since 2006.  I thought I'd share my story with you.  I am middle aged and have suffered neck pain since my early 20's.  I began this journey by injuring my neck at the gym on a piece of nautilus equipment.  That was the first time I woke up unable to turn my head from side to side without pain.  That began my trips to the chiropractor.  For many years I visited them for adjustments but only when the flareups were intolerable.  Once I went to Maui and the first thing I did when I got there was find a chiropractor to get an adjustment.  My neck killed me the whole trip....sad, but true.  Anyway, in 2005, I slipped in my kitchen and caused whiplash (just call me Gracie).  One year after that fall, my discs finally gave up the ghost.  I was in complete agony.  At that point I knew surgery was the way to go - my only option to have my life back.  The herniations were at C5/C6 and C6/C7.  My right side was the affected side.  My right arm was numb and there were frequent lightning bolts of electricity shooting down through my fingers.  I had to prop my arm up over my head to get any relief from the sensations.  I had the surgey which fused three discs together using a titanium plate and screws.  The surgery went well and all was good for a little over a year.  Then the disc at C4/C5 ruptured and my left side side began its demise.  So, again I went for surgery.  The second surgery was a bust.  The fusion failed.  So, just two weeks ago, I had a third surgery to stabilize the failed second surgery.  The first two surgeries were performed through my neck from the front (anterior) and this last one was done from the back (posterior).  I have had some unpleasant surprises since my last surgery and I've posted them here on this site so I won't take the time to retype them here.  In hindsite, I don't think I could have survived without the first surgery because it did help so much.  But, for the second surgery, knowing now what I didn't know then, I might have tried to live with that problem a while longer.  This third time around has really scared me because of the undiagnosed problem that's occurred with the foot.  I'm not trying to scare you.  You'll know when/if it's time for surgical intervention.   The one thing that sticks with me that one doctor said was "if Mother Nature was going to heal this, she would've done so by now".  

I want to add too that I had facial/jaw issues with TMJ and that can cause some of the symptoms you've mentioned you're having.  I had my jaw joints flushed and they put a long-acting steroid in the joints.  That gave me nice relief.  Also they devised a night-guard for me just in case I was a teeth-grinder.  I wore it even though I didn't think I was a grinder.  Those solutions worked for my TMJ problem.  Note:  Insurance doesn't typically pay for this type of medical service.  For some bizzare reason, they call TMJ services cosmetic.  Obviously, the underwriters have never SUFFERED from this very real agony of TMJ.  But...anyway...that's another story.  

I wish you the best of luck in all your decisions regarding your health.  Stay strong because you have folks who love you and need you to be there.  Happy holidays!
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Oh, one more thing, I do take Gabapentin and have had no unpleasant side effects that I can tell.  I take 100mg twice a day.  One of my doctors described Gabapentin as a child of Lyrica.  So I guess that means, not as strong as Lyrica.   I can't take Lyrica.  It makes me too dizzy and blurs my vision far too much.  I plan to stop using Gabapentin as soon as I can.  I'll have to drop the usage to once a day for a week or so and then stop cold turkey.  But, not yet.
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Just updating my symptoms and where I am with doctors.  Symptoms:  trembling/twitching in my whole body (not visible on the outside), ringing constant in my left ear (it gets louder with posture changes like pulling my chin back and or with tilting my head to my left shoulder), abnormal periods (skipped 2 mos. & this month came early at day 18 and stopped 2 days later).  I should mention that I am not pregnant nor could I be as I had an ablation in 2007 & my spouse got the snip snip.  I was still getting a period every month regularly after the procedure and before all of my weird symptoms started this past July.  I still have NO weakness, thank goodness.  I do notice that I tremble with muscle exertion when I do yoga now or even when I just bear wait into one arm.  My neurologist sent me to my primary who I saw today.  I get the feeling he is at a loss and wanted another opinion.  She thinks I have Parkinson's Disease.  I am slightly in denial of this DX especially coming from my primary doctor.  She prescribed Mirapex as a trial.  I called my neurologist to inform him of this new diagnosis & am waiting for him to call me back.  Not taking any meds tonight until I talk to him.  Oh, my primary also ordered labs on thyroid ( this will be 2nd time and vitamin B12).  I am not taking anything until I get those labs back!  
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Hello--when I read yours and 100percentwell's comments I think I finally found someone who understand what I have been dealing with for many years with no diagnosis. I have posted comments here but didn't get an answer on the last one. I have had "bulging discs" in my neck and low back for years and gone through alot of physical therapy and nothing makes this go away. I have the tingling, buzzing, electrical pulses on the entire left side of my body but including my face. That seems to be what the curiosity is--if there was something wrong in my brain it would affect the opposite side of my body but all of my other symptoms (and there are many) act like MS but I have not had the diagnosis. I am now 60 and have had to deal with this since I was in my early 30's. It has gotten progressively worse over the years and I finally had to quit working. Because I can't afford to keep going to doctors one by one till they find out what is wrong, I feel defeated and am now trying to exist on such a tiny amount of income that I am on a food card. This has all affected my mental state so much that I can't live alone so my house sits there while I am staying with my daughter and her family, sleeping with all the kids in one room. I have been on so many different medications that my stomach is shot and I have a bad case of GERD. I can't live without the medication for that or I will get pneumonia. I have the twitches, the tingling, spasms, tightening of the torso muscles around my kidneys, all of that, and I feel the weakness in my left side though doctors don't see it when they do their little (grab my hand ) test. I also have the trembling but not all the time.  I hope you get the right treatment and are not just considered a neurotic hypochondriac--this stuff is so real and no one can "see" it, especially if you look good or young for your age.  Take care--
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I am sorry you have been undiagnosed for so long.  Very frustrating and depressing!   It has been 6 months for me and I am trying my best to be optimistic but do have moments where I too feel defeated.  You see, I am a speech pathologist who works in a hospital treating patients with MS, Parkinson's, stroke, brain tumors, and you name it.  Now I am the patient and it is not the role I want to play.  
My neurologist called meback and wants to see me Friday.  He told me not to take the Mirapex.  I am back to the gabapentin 100 mg and am to increase it to x2 a day.  No lab results yet!  Please be a hormone or vitamin deficiency!
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Update:   Saw the ENT for the tinnitus in my L ear and basically he does not know why I have it.  My hearing is fine though.  Saw my neurologist Friday, who reassessed me for Parkinson's.  He said my exam is normal and he doubted Parkinson's at this point.  He wants more labs on me, ANA, ESR, magnesium, parathyroid, calcium, sjodren's, potassium, and a menopause workup.  So, I have gone from having parkinson's disease to being perimenopausal in one week :).  You have to find humor in the little things these days.  I also am trying a new med, klonopin in the lowest dose.  Gabapentin is on hold for now.  The klonopin has an anxiety component to it as well as to treat tremor.  I am really more on edge this week.  I took a half dose last night and felt no effect really.  I will up it tonight to a full pill so I can actually sleep through the night hopefully.  I  am noticing that odd feeling in my neck/throat is moving to the back of my tongue.  It feels big and thick.  I keep swallowing.  Today I sm tired and just feel sick.  I can't describe "sick".  Malaise about sums it up.   I spent $100 in copays this past week at doctor visits.  This is a costly road to nowhere so far.  I hope these new labs bring me closer to a diagnosis and mess to eliminate these agravating symptoms.  I miss the old me!      
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I really feel for you,hang in there,use other yoga pranayama to help with anxiety it really works.I was a yoga teacher but injured C-  6/7 bulging disk, prolapsed T4 and lumber annular tears which bulge out at the simplist movement after no problems than heavier movements.
I have been to Osteo/cranial,sacral therapists,Accupuncture,homeopathy intracutaneus injections,all help for a while ,like two days or a week.
Now I am on Gabapentin programme 1x300 2 nights then 300 2x day for 2 days and them 3x300 a day. At moment at 300x2 a day and pain has 75% gone,also take 4x50mg tramadol a day and 4x2mg Diazapam.
Going to reduce diazapam and tramadol and see what happens,im sick of pain and taking pills,and getting the run around with therapists..I just want to go surfing again,im banned from surfing by Doc for 6 months..im grateful i can still work and practice some yoga asana/pranayama.
My prayers are with you. Try the Gabapentin,I was terrified by the feedback i was reading but thought positivly about it and its working,so im very happy so far....more will be revealed. Hari Om David
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The gabapentin was too sedating for daytime use for me.  It worked great at night.  I would wake up every night with this internal shaking multiple times, however 100 mg before bed gave me a full nights rest.  Only problem was daytime, it would wear off.  I increased to another for daytime but was too groggy and sleepy to function.  I will say that the klonopin .5 mg has made the most difference, practically eliminating the shaking.  I am fatigued though and maybe a little more cranky.  Tomorrow my labs should be in.  Fingers crossed!   Kiwiyoga, my yoga practice is slightly altered, no headstand or shoulder stand given my bulging disk issue.  I still try to get through the primary series as best I can trying not to regress.  Yoga is and always will be my escape.  Yoga makes me feel strong and healthy even when I am shaking on the inside.  Namaste
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Got a call from my obgyn back for the menopause workup and apparently all is normal.  Waiting to hear about my other labs.  
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Other labs are also normal.  I foundmyself praying for low calcium or low magnesium or thyroid problems.  Now we are back to 1. The bulging disk 2. Anxiety disorder or 3. A neurological progressive disease.  The klonopin does not eliminate the internal tremors completely, but I have not upped my dose as told.  I am still taking 1/2 a pill of .5 mg.   I am scared to.  I don't want to rely on medication.  
On a happier note, I am off to Disney dithering my family for a few days.  Maybe a getaway is the right prescription.  
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Avatar universal
I completely understand where you're coming from.  I am 40 and I too have a herniated disc at C5-C6 which narrows the proximal left neural foramen.  My brain MRI/MRA 3 years ago was normal. I also went through a period of 8-10 months last year of widespread twitching - some of them felt like little muscle twitches, some like big jerking single twitches.  Very scary at the time.  I still twitch here and there but not nearly as much.  I've also had the sensation you describe of difficulty swallowing. And I've also noticed the trembling with muscle exertion which I only notice at times.  Finally I've also had dizziness, headaches, bouts of insomnia, lots of muscle aches/pains, etc.  All of my symptoms started 3-4 years ago. The difference is that I know my diagnosis: anxiety and, probably, approaching menopause.  Though it's taken me a couple of years to accept that all of these crazy things could be caused by anxiety plus some hormonal fluctuations for good measure.

My mother and her mother went through menopause by age 40.  I am 40.  So while a test a couple of years ago didn't confirm perimenopause, my OB/Gyn says they aren't really reliable.  In perimenopause hormones fluctuate dramatically each month & even each day.  So a test at 8am might read differently than one at 6pm.  If you've begun to miss some periods then my bet is that you too are in perimenopause.  And women who go through early menopause tend to have stronger symptoms.  I know that this likely applies to me as my mother had the same problems in her 30's. In addition I went on the pill in June and many of my symptoms have abated.

In addition I go to a great therapist who treats only anxiety and he says all the physical symptoms I suffer from are classic generalized anxiety disorder.  If I go to him with a symptom which I think is really wild like the twitching or electric shock sensations he tells me it's par for the course - classic anxiety.  I, of course, have verified this online. Note that I did try an SSRI (Celexa) for about 9 months and all of my physical symptoms went away (other than my occasionally numb fingers and parasthesia in my left arm from the hernaited disc).  Even my backache went away.  I went off of Celexa because I felt so good I was ready to have another child.  Of course about 4 months later I was back to my symptoms.

I've been trying to get my life back in control via other means before I venture back to Celexa as I don't like the idea of being on meds for a long time.  It sounds like you do yoga but another thing to try would be cardiovascular exercise (if you don't already to it).  There is peer-reviewed research and lots of clinical evidence that cardiovascular exercise (at least 30 minutes 3 x per week) has a dramatic impact on mental health and the nervous system.  My therapist says, from his clinical experience, that it takes about 2 months of regular exercise to see a difference.  I figured it's worth a try so I started exercising this week & will see how it goes.  

Finally, I have the benefit (if you could call it that) of having a mom who went through just what I'm going through and lived to tell the tale.  She suffered from muscle pain, twitching, numbness in various parts of her body, insomnia, dizziness, etc.  She was convinced that she had MS, even had a doctor tell her she did.  But she doesn't.  In fact the numbness, pain, insomnia, etc is gone.  Went away in her early 40's.  Note that she went through menopause at age 40.  In addition she didn't suffer from any of these symptoms until about age 34 or 35 and hadn't suffered from anxiety prior to this either.  My mom is a healthy 67 year old.

My suggestion: find a really great therapist (psychiatrist or psychologist) who treats anxiety.  Tell them about your symptoms and let them tell you what they think.  A neurologist doesn't treat anxiety, at least not typically.  They typically treat brain pathologies so he may not have as broad an experience with a psychological disorder.  And keep track of your period.  If you continue to have irregular cycles and skip periods and your gynecologist says you're otherwise healthy, then you are almost certainly in perimenopause.  Then look up the symptoms online.  You'll be amazed at all of the crazy things women go through.

I hope this helped you even a tiny bit.  I know how stressful it can be to have unusual physical symptoms with normal test results and noone around you who can identify or understand what you're going through.  Good luck!  
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I am really starting to lean towards the whole perimenopausal dx.  I have had a small but present period now for over a week.  I don't recall if I have mentioned in this post that in 2007 I had a DNC and ablation of the endometrial layer.  This essentially electricutes and scars the layer to minimize periods.  I have 2 kids and am done with baby bearing.  I half wonder if this through me into an earlier menopause.  
My workout routine involves kickboxing and power yoga, not relaxation yoga.  I workout at least 3x's a week.  I do feel less symptoms immediately after exercising.  
My sister is a Physical Therapist and has a theory... She thinks I may be overtaxing my nervous system with my Yoga.  Yes, too much yoga.  Ashtanga yoga is pretty strength and flexibility demanding.  It is my passion though.  I have worked very hard for 3 years to achieve what I have gained.  It would break my heart if I had to give it up.  
The Klonipin is working nicely.  I barely notice the shaking during the day.  It does not turn it completely off though.  I am up to .5mg x1 a day.   Neurology follow up is in 1 month.  I imagine we will discuss my normal labs and where we go now.  I did find a website called powersurge.  It has a forum all about internal shaking and menopause.  It was very much like me.  Promising...as I can deal with menopause versus Parkinson's.  
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Well, went back to the neurologist today for follow-up and to discuss my medication (klonipin).  He did the fine motor testing like he has done before on me.  And still says he does not think Parkinson's.  :)  Although, he did see my face/mouth twitch a few times when he asked me to open my mouth.  This would be the first time he has actually seen something.  My labs are okay except for the ESR sedation rate was slightly high.  I do not know exactly what it was and plan to request a copy of my labs.  My ANA was negative and parathyroid was normal.  He would like to do an EMG on me.  All four extremities.  I am not looking forward to that.  April 19th is the lucky day.  He did say he was thinking more metabolic now.  I think I like metabolic versus neurologic.  I will post again after the EMG.  
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EMG day!  I ended up having only my left side done both arm and leg.  I was told essentially it was normal.  My neurologist again saw very slight twitching in my lips and tongue today.  He is referring me to a movement disorder specialist at UIC.  I got a refill for my klonopin .5 mg.   He brought up thyroid again, but it was normal x2 previously.  So here we are again with no answers as to why I am internally vibrating all the time, as well as random muscle twitching throughout my body.  I googled the neurologist he referred me too.  She specializes in ALS and Myastenia Gravis.  "gulp". I really don't think it is either.  Please not!  
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I am posting today because I tried a barbell strength class today and had a bizarre experience after.   I only did 2 5lb weights on my bar as I have never done this type of work out before.  It was challenging and 1/4 of the way into the class I started noticing how shaky my muscles were becoming.   In fact, after the class I showered and was drying my hair noticing that I could barely hold up the hair dryer without it shaking.  Then I tried to put on eyeliner and found the same.  My hands and arm shaking like crazy.  This cannot be normal!  
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Saw the UIC neurologist who basically said she could not help me.  My neuro clinical exam is normal, yay!  She recommended chinese medicine or ayruda yoga.  Seriously?!?  Just kinda not expecting that from a neurologist I guess.  
Also saw my new primary doc.  He tested me for lyme's and west Nile.  He also wants my hair tested for heavy metals.  Did the blood draw and awaiting results on the first 2.   I agreed to try lexapro to rule out anxiety. Not liking the $60 copay with that or the fact that a side effect is insomnia.  Hmmm perhaps that is why I am up right now.  He also recommended a vitamin b12 supplement which I also started today.   My BP was high at his office do now ineed yo chart my BP for awhile.  White coat syndrome perhaps!
Now I guess I just wait...
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Okay,  this insomnia business has to be from the lexapro.  Night number 2 and I cannot sleep.  Still feeling like I am buzzing.  I know I need to give the lexapro a chance to get in my system.  I already know it is not going to stop this buzzing sensation.  No word on my labs yet.  I will call tomorrow.    
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Well,  I weaned myself from the lexapro after 2 weeks.  This is not anxiety related!  I ammed free right now and still having symptoms... Ringing in my left ear, sensation that I am internally shaking or buzzing and still random weird muscle twitching some days worse than others.  No weakness, thank goodness!  It will be 1 year in July that I have been going through this.  Still no answers.  I have seen a physiatrist, neurologist x2, family medicine doc, internist, ENT and cardiologist.   My labs are all normal.  No lyme's or west Nile.  I still need to get my hair tested for heavy metals.  Just can't find a place that does it.  I am headed back to my new primary in 2 weeks for follow up.  I am trying to tune out the symptoms.   That's about all I can do.  I refuse to be drug dependent until I know what this is from.  
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Avatar universal
hi, i'm new here but found your posting through a web search.  i'm 43 and have similar symptoms--internal shaking and all over twitching, buzzing, vibrating.  had an mri w/ and w/o contrast and all is well, i'm told.  also had blood work done and was told that all is well in that area too.  not on any medications but first feared parkinsons b/c parent has it.  but parkinsons is supposed to make you rigid, unbalanced, with changes in voice, facial expression, problems with fine motor skills, etc.  how did your primary come up with that dx?  curious b/c my primary ruled it out almost immediately.  i'm also hoping that it's menopausal.  read a lot about women who went through this and had the shaking subside when hormones leveled off although the medical community would not confirm.  just in case i'm seeing a neuro soon.  would love to hear your update.
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