Integrative and Alternative Patient-Centered Therapies in Neurology: Carolyn Bernstein, MD


The assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School talked about integrative therapies that may offer promising alternatives to traditional treatments for aiding neurological conditions. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"Understanding exactly what we're offering patients and what they like is incredibly important."

Many patients with neurological conditions will often turn to complementary and alternative medicine for treatment, which is defined as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not considered conventional medicine.1 Although a majority of patients with neurological conditions use complementary and alternative medicine, most of them do not convey this with their clinician. Thus, having an informed clinician discuss and advise on complementary and alternative medicine for patients seeking additional treatments can clarify what modalities may have the most benefit for their patients’ outcomes.

At the 2024 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, held April 13-18, in Denver, Colorado, Carolyn Bernstein, MD, a neurologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, along with Rochelle I. Frank, MD, FAAN, clinical professor of neurology at UC Davis Health, presented a talk on evidence-based integrative approaches to general and complex neurologic cases. The duo talked about how to utilize the presented information to improve communication with patients and assess practical tools to effectively incorporate integrative approaches into their clinical practice.

Bernstein, who also serves as an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, sat down with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to further discuss the types of integrative therapies that are being explored to treat neurological conditions. She also spoke about how incorporating nonpharmacological therapies may improve patient-centered care. Additionally, Bernstein talked about the benefits of involving patients in decision-making around their treatment.

Click here for more coverage of AAN 2024.

1. Wells RE, Baute V, Wahbeh H. Complementary and Integrative Medicine for Neurologic Conditions. Med Clin North Am. 2017;101(5):881-893. doi:10.1016/j.mcna.2017.04.006
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