MEET

DR. KEN SHARLIN

Discover his unique journey and path both in life and medicine in his own words.

About Neurologist Dr. Ken Sharlin

Dr. Ken Sharlin’s rapid rise as a writer and thought leader in the circle of holistic health, especially in areas pertaining to the brain and neurological illness, has its roots in his Princeton, New Jersey, childhood. His father, a pediatrician with a passion for the craft of magic and illusion. His mother was a special needs teacher who exposed him to the arts. Dr. Sharlin was influenced by both sides. He was a writer from a young age whose education was cultivated by a combination of science and literature.

Dr. Sharlin attended Kenyon College where he got his B.A. in English. Kenyon, famous for the authors and poets that have graced it halls, and the esteemed literary journal, The Kenyon Review, was an ideal place for Dr. Sharlin to further his own development. He read Dr. Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and knew immediately there was a place in medicine for those who were driven to explore the big questions about life. By chance, he learned of John Stone, M.D., poet, essayist, and cardiologist. The brave decision to send Dr. Stone a letter containing some of his own poetry lead to a relationship that would take him from Kenyon to Emory University School of Medicine where Dr. Stone was Dean and attending physician. Following in the footsteps of Dr. Oliver Sacks, Dr. Sharlin went on to study neurology at The University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, where he completed his residency in 1998.

Early In My Career

He began his career as a neurologist whose training through prestigious research-oriented medical centers took him down a traditional path. Dr. Sharlin worked as a neurologist in private practice, in large hospital-affiliated practices, emergency rooms, intensive care units, and inpatient wards. His diverse experience has allowed him to sharpen his skills in the management of complex neurological conditions, from multiple sclerosis, to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, migraine, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and fibromyalgia, among others. In whatever direction his interests took him, he has always maintained one hand in clinical research as principle investigator in large, multi-center trials to help bring new treatments to market and broaden our understanding of medicines already approved. His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals (Ethnicity & Disease, 1993 vol 3(4): 337-43; Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease, 1999;8:271). He has been a guest speaker on many occasions over the years, and is often asked to share his knowledge and expertise with his peers and the public.

How Cycling Changed My Life

Dr. Sharlin’s personal and professional life took an important turn when, as a cycling enthusiast, he completed rides over 100 miles in one day, the MS 150 Bike Ride, and RAGBRAI, the ride across Iowa in one week. This lead to the sport of triathlon, and because of his competitive spirit, Dr. Sharlin trained to compete in the pinnacle of multi-sport races, the Ironman Triathlon, to become not once, but three times a finisher. As his fitness and his awareness of the impact of lifestyle on health was changing his own body and brain, Dr. Sharlin became increasingly conscious of problems within his field of neurology, and with medicine in general. He realized that available treatments either focused on symptoms exclusively, or controlled the disease process only if prescribed drugs remained in continuous use. He learned that medicines designed to prevent premature death, heart attack, or stroke, were often more likely to fail an individual. He came to understand that even surgery, with its “to cut is to cure” motto, does not address why the illness occurs in the first place. Unwittingly, he had learned to accept the notion that we don’t know why we get sick and there’s nothing we can do about it except follow the conventional path. And he was beginning to question this notion.

Functional Medicine Introduction

Then, he found functional medicine. “Functional medicine,” to quote Dr. Mark Hyman, “is medicine that just makes sense.”  It is medicine that connects mind, body, and spirit.  It helps each of us find the imbalances that have directed the trajectory of our lives down the road towards illness, and shines a light that guides each one of personally, by helping to re-map and re-route the course back toward health and vitality.  Functional medicine is based firmly in science.  It embraces food as medicine, as well as sleep, movement, stress, gut and immune health, hormones, and our mitochondria, the energy-producing engines of the cell.  It recognizes the relationship between our genetic blueprint and the environments both within and outside of our bodies that can promote either the expression of health or disease-causing genes, even across generations.

Just as he shaped his body and his mind through his rigorous training in endurance sports, Dr. Sharlin has shared his message of healing the brain through functional medicine.  He has been a guest on radio shows and podcasts.  He has been featured on local television.  He has a regular column, “Growing Your Health,” in Ozarks Living Magazine, and has been asked to guest write for other magazines and newsletters.  Frequently, he presents his talk on brain health through functional medicine entitled, The Brain Tune Up! Build Your Healthy Brain Toolbox.  Yet he gets his greatest satisfaction as a neurologist by helping individuals change their lives, and alter the course of devastating brain illnesses in a manner most physicians think is not possible.

meet neurologist dr. ken sharlin

don’t you deserve a better doctor?

“Functional medicine embraces all that I believe in. It gives shape and definition to a previously poorly articulated reason that I went to medical school to become a doctor. With functional medicine I have found my purpose. It is not only “medicine that makes sense,” according to Dr. Mark Hyman, it is medicine that connects mind, body, and spirit. It helps each of us find the imbalances that have tipped the trajectory of our lives down the road of chronic disease, and guides each one of us individually, personally, by helping to re-map and re-route our course back toward health and vitality.”

CĀLLIE MAGGARD

brain tune up! program coordinator

“As program coordinator of Brain Tune Up! I hope you will consider participating in this exciting personalized medicine treatment program that aims to help you remain healthy, functional, and productive and make sure the number of your years are of the highest quality possible.”

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WE ARE OPEN
Protect Against Coronavirus: Doing our Part to Help you

 
In these difficult times we want to share with you some brief bullet-points about Sharlin Health and Neurology and COVID-19:
  • First and foremost, we want you to know that the safety and well-being of each and every one of you is number one importance to us. If you have a chronic lung condition or another health reason that would make you susceptible to the more severe effects of the coronavirus, we want you to stay at home.
  • Sharlin Health and Neurology is considered an “essential” business because we provide critically needed care to those with neurological disease in our community. Despite the threat of the coronavirus conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, migraine, MS, and other neurological diseases do not go away. We are a privately-owned neurology practice here to serve our community.
  • We follow all CDC guidelines for protection against the dissemination of coronavirus. There have not been any known cases of coronavirus in our office, among staff and those customers who have entered our door. 
  • We have six available exam rooms in our clinic and every effort will be made to prevent patients from having to stay in our waiting room. We can move you quickly from the reception desk to a private exam room, and have the doctor meet you there.
  • If you are sequestered at home, it may be possible to visit with you by telemedicine. We have the capability of using a telemedicine portal though the smart phone or computer that is HIPAA compliant and allows us to see you and speak with you. Alternatively, we can speak by telephone. Please ask our receptionist.
  • If you do come to our clinic for a doctor visit or a need a test please do not touch any surfaces you can avoid touching, and come by yourself or – if you do need to have someone with you – have them bring you to the door and we will help you from that point. If they wait in their vehicle, we can call them when you are finished.
  • If you have had contact with a person with known or suspected COVID-19, have had contact with a person coughing or with fever in the past 14 days, or you yourself have a fever, cough, or runny nose in the past 14 days, please let us know and we will either reschedule you or schedule you a telemedicine visit. 

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 please reach out to your nearest medical center. We will not be testing patients at Sharlin Health and Neurology. 

Click Here To Learn More


 
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