Dr. John Riser, co-founder of Alabama Neurology Associates, can't remember a time when he didn't want to be a doctor. From an early age Dr. Riser dreamed of being a doctor-like his father, his grandfather and two of his uncles. "It wasn't that I felt pressured; it was more that I felt called," explains Riser. After earning his undergraduate degree from Davidson College, that calling led him to University of Alabama at Birmingham's medical school. A rotation in the Neurology department during his residency compelled him to devote himself to that field at a time when neurorehabilitation was in its infancy and there was much work to be accomplished.
"It's a tough field, we see patients who are struggling just to function normally. Their spirits amaze me, and it's wonderful to be able to offer them hope due to all the innovations that are being made in neurorehabilitation," Dr. Riser says. To better meet the needs of these patients, Dr. Riser and his wife, Dr. Emily Riser, also a board certified neurologist, established Alabama Neurology Associates in 1988, and has practiced Neurology in both academic and private practice venues. "Compassion is our hallmark-it's not acceptable to treat our patients like a number."
One of his areas of expertise is spasticity, a common neurological complication from strokes, spinal cord injuries and Multiple Sclerosis." It can be one of the more debilitating features. We take a multidisciplinary approach to manage it that may include physical therapy, Botox, and other infusion, injectable and oral medications, all of which are available right here under one roof."
Sports medicine and rehabilitation are other areas where Dr. Riser, who is a veteran marathon runner and athlete, is on the front lines, bringing empathy as well as expertise to his work. "I have been involved with the assessment of sports concussions for the past 10 years. In addition to local referrals, I work with the trainers at Samford and Troy University providing expertise for difficult concussion issues including timing of return-to-play and evaluation of potential career-ending issues."