The brain, spinal cord and nerves are vital to the healthy function of our urinary system. Certain neurological diseases, however, can affect this function, causing such conditions as urinary incontinence (involuntary urine leakage) or the inability to urinate.
If you or someone you care about is affected in this way, you’ll be glad to know that UMass Memorial Medical Center is home to the only neurourologist in Central Massachusetts. This specialist has extensive training and experience in treating urinary issues related to neurological disease – offering hope for improving symptoms and quality of life.
The Neurological Diseases That Can Affect Urinary Health
The neurological disorders that can affect the urinary system and impair bladder function include:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Congenital conditions such as spina bifida
- Hydrocephalus (abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain)
Some individuals don’t have a neurological disease or injury but, due to abnormal nerve signals, can’t empty their bladder or they experience leakage. This condition is known as a neurogenic bladder.
Neurourology Treatments Available at UMass Memorial
It’s important to know that today there are more treatment and management options in this field than ever before, and our neurourology specialist will work closely with each patient to determine the optimal, individualized treatment plan.
Treatment for urinary problems related to neurological conditions depends on the underlying cause, and whether a patient has trouble with emptying the bladder or difficulty with urinary control or incontinence. Options include:
- Catheter use
- Surgical procedures
- InterStimTM Therapy, an FDA-approved, implantable bladder “pacemaker” that uses mild electrical stimulation of the sacral nerves to regulate bladder function. It’s implanted under the skin of one of the buttocks.
- Behavioral modifications