The Neurology Centre evolved out of Mustamäe Hospital’s neurosurgery departments. On 1 January 1997, the two neurology departments launched operations as part of the neurology clinic that existed then. After the North Estonia Medical Centre was established, these evolved into the neurology centre – a part of the internal diseases clinic. The well-known, charismatic neurology professor Rein Zupping played a primary role in the creation of the specialized neurology centre.
The Neurology Centre includes the following:
- neurology department
- neurophysiology department
- neurology polyclinic
The Neurology Centre has a capacity of 36 patients. Inpatient care is generally for emergency patients or those who need a relatively rapid response, over half of whom are stroke victims. In 2017, we had 1,580 inpatients, of whom 943 were diagnosed as having suffered a stroke. We have longstanding experiences in treating stroke and we are Estonia’s leading neurology centre in terms of the number of patients with related conditions.
All of the key diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for stroke are available at the Medical Centre’s neurology centre. Intravenous thombolysis is a key aspect. We enter data on thrombolysed patients into the international SITS register on Safe Implementation of Treatments in Stroke. We engage in close cooperation with the rehabilitative care centre. If needed, we draw on assistance from colleagues, radiologists and neurosurgeons in other units at the Medical Centre.
Other important groups of patients cared for at our centre include epilepsy and neurological infection patients. The centre has decades-long traditions in treating severe cases that pose differential diagnostic problems. Our centre provides around the clock neurological on-call service.
At the polyclinic, patients are seen by all of our centre’s 13 neurologists. Of these, two doctors – dr Viiu-Marika Rand, dr Tiiu Retter and dr Maris Heinsoo – also administer botulotoxin injections if relevant indications are present (above all for patients with various dystonias).
The neurophysiology department is one of two nationwide centres of excellence. It is headed by the very experienced physician Tea Lepik. It is hard to overestimate the role of experienced neurophysiologists in diagnosis of diseases of the peripheral nervous system, muscles and of epilepsy. We also have two electroneuromyography (ENMG) specialists and one electroencephelography (EEG) specialist. Quantitative sensory testing is also available.
Besides neurologists, the centre staffs 19 diligent, skilful nurses and 13 industrious caregivers.
In cooperation with the training service and the University of Tartu neurology centre, the centre organizes, neurology training for doctors and nurses. We also have two neurology doctoral candidates, who we hope will be key resources for stimulating future research.