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Comprehensive, compassionate neurological care
Our Department of Neurology is dedicated to providing extraordinary care for a wide range of neurological issues. Our continuous research and participation in professional teaching activities is helping to develop tomorrow’s renowned neurologists—today.

At the Department of Neurology at Staten Island University Hospital, we understand that receiving a diagnosis for a neurological condition can be a frightening experience. That's why we're here—for general neurology to the most rare and complicated diseases—we're dedicated to providing individualized, patient-centric, evidence-based care. We're also involved in ongoing research and participate in professional teaching activities, helping to develop tomorrow’s neurologists. 

The department is composed of seven adult and pediatric neurologists with special expertise in: 

  • Autoimmune brain disorders, such as autoimmune encephalitis
  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders 
  • Stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Headache
  • Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders 
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders 
  • Neuromuscular disorders, from Bell’s palsy to Lou Gehrig’s disease to myasthenia gravis

Areas of expertise offered by our neurology specialists include:

Autoimmune brain disorders

One of the rare neurological disorders treated in the department is autoimmune encephalitis, an autoimmune brain disorder in which the immune system attacks the brain. This results in acute-onset seizures, cognitive deficits, as well as severe psychiatric symptoms. The psychiatric symptoms can include anxiety, changes in mood, and even psychosis with delusions and hallucinations, similar to schizophrenia. Due to the nature of the symptoms, autoimmune encephalitis is often misdiagnosed, but is usually reversible with early and effective immune therapy. Given the severity of autoimmune encephalitis and expertise offered by Dr. Souhel Najjar, patients travel from all over the world to see him for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. 

Epilepsy

The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Staten Island University Hospital is a NAEC accredited level 3 epilepsy center, and includes a full range of epilepsy care services for children and adults, including a dedicated six-bed inpatient Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) that includes video electroencephalography (video EEG) capabilities.

Video EEG monitoring is necessary for our epileptologists, a neurologist that specializes in epilepsy, to develop a differential diagnosis and accurately diagnose the type of epileptic syndrome a patient has. Video EEG monitoring also enables us to develop tailored treatment plans that may include antiepileptic medications and identification of potential surgical options for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.

Stroke 

Both Staten Island University Hospital North and South campuses are Department of Health-designated Primary Stroke Centers, with Staten Island University Hospital North currently seeking Joint Commission Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) designation, the highest stroke designation possible for our ability to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.

Staten Island University Hospital has also implemented a telestroke program. This program utilizes state-of-the art video teleconferencing technology to remotely place a stroke specialist at the bedside of a patient in the Emergency Department. This allows stroke patients to receive the highest level of care by a stroke specialist anytime, day or night. 

Neuromuscular 

The neuromuscular team at Staten Island University Hospital includes physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners, psychological care providers and rehabilitation professionals. With over 100 such disorders, we understand that each patient is different, with their own unique needs, and requires an individualized treatment plan to ensure the best quality of life possible. We offer complete diagnostic evaluations including MRIs, blood tests and clinical assessments, and when necessary, electromyography (EMG) testing, nerve conduction studies (NCS), nerve biopsies, muscle biopsies and spinal taps.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is neurodegenerative, meaning it gets worse over time, with progression differing form person to person. A diagnosis of MS is life changing and because early, effective treatment can slow down or prevent worsening of the disease, we tailor treatment plans based on the symptoms experienced. Symptoms of MS may include depression, pain, fatigue, bladder and bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction and stiffness, among others. Our goal is for all patients to maintain the highest level of functionality and remain as independent as possible.

Five epilepsy programs within Northwell Health have been accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC).

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Our doctors

1110 South Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10314
(718) 226-5700

Physicians at this location:

Souhel Najjar, MD

Executive Director - Neurology Service Line,

Senior Vice President - Neurology Service Line, , Chairman of Neurology, Lenox Hill Hospital, Chairman of Neurology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Chairman of Neurology, North Shore University Hospital, Chairman of Neurology, Staten Island University Hospital

Specialties: Neurology, EEG / Epilepsy

Danielle Geraldi-Samara, MD

Specialties: Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology

Yasir El-Sherif, MD

Director of Service - Director of Stroke Services of Neurology, Staten Island University Hospital

Specialties: Neurology, EEG / Epilepsy

Edward Haosheng Yu, MD

Director of Service - Director of Neuromuscular Services of Neurology, Staten Island University Hospital

Specialties: Neurology, Neuromuscular Medicine

Frederick Arthur Patterson, MD

Specialties: Neurology

501 Seaview Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301
(718) 226-5700

Physicians at this location:

Vahid Ghiasian, MD

Associate Chairman - Associate Chairman of Neurology of Neurology, Staten Island University Hospital

Specialties: Neurology, EEG / Epilepsy

Nwanneka Adoma Okolo, MD

Director of Service - Director of Pediatric Neurology of Pediatrics - Neurology, Staten Island University Hospital

Specialties: EEG / Epilepsy, Pediatric Neurology, Child Neurology

Akila Venkataraman, MD

Specialties: Pediatric Neurology, EEG / Epilepsy, Neurology

Mohammad Moussavi, MD

Director - Neurovascular/Neuroendovascular Sur,

Specialties: Neurology, Vascular Neurology, Neuroradiology