What is Neurology?
Neurology is the field of medical science that studies the nervous system - the brain, the spinal cord, and the body's complex network of nerves. Clinical neurology concerns itself with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the nervous system. A neurologist is a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.
Conditions neurologists diagnose and treat include:
The nervous system is vulnerable to various disorders. It can be damaged by: trauma, infections, degeneration ,structural defects, tumors, blood flow disruption. Disorders of the nervous system may involve: vascular disorders - such as stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hemorrhage and hematoma, and extradural hemorrhage, infections - such as meningitis, encephalitis, polio, and epidural abscess, structural disorders - such as brain or spinal cord injury, Bell's palsy, cervical spondylosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, brain or spinal cord tumors, peripheral neuropathy, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, functional disorders - such as headache, epilepsy, dizziness, and neuralgia, degeneration - such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's chorea, and Alzheimer's disease
During a neurologic consultation, a neurologist will:
Take a medical history which may include information about: The present problem Past medical history Family history Medications and allergies
Perform a neurologic exam: Vital signs - blood pressure, heart rate, heart sounds, Strength testing and reflexes, Sensory testing, Coordination testing.
Conduct diagnostic tests: After the history and the examination, the neurologist usually understands the problem or knows which other tests need to be done. Test often help the neurologist confirm diagnosis and may lead to a specific treatment. These tests may include: EEG EMG MRI CT scan Carotid ultrasound ...
If testing is ordered, the test will be explained in detail so you understand the test before having it done.
What is the nervous system?
The nervous system is a complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates body activities. It is made up of two major divisions: central nervous system - consisting of the brain and spinal cord, peripheral nervous system - consisting of all other neural elements. In addition to the brain and spinal cord, principal organs of the nervous system are: eyes, ears, sensory organs of taste, sensory organs of smell ,sensory receptors located in the skin, joints, muscles, and other parts of the body
Signs and symptoms of nervous system disorders:
General signs and symptoms that may indicate that a patient needs to see a physician for possible nervous system disorders include: persistent or sudden onset of a headache, a headache that changes or is different, loss of feeling or tingling ,weakness or loss of muscle strength ,sudden loss of sight, memory loss, impaired mental ability, lack of coordination, muscle rigidity, tremors and seizures, back pain which radiates to the feet, toes, or other parts of the body
Physicians who treat nervous system disorders:
Physicians who treat nervous system disorders may have to spend a lot of time working with the patient before making a probable diagnosis of the specific condition. Many times, this involves performing numerous tests to eliminate other conditions, so that the probable diagnosis can be made.