Neurology (from Greek: νεῦρον (neûron), “string, nerve” and the suffix -logia, “study of”) is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system. Neurology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of conditions and disease involving the central and peripheral nervous systems (and their subdivisions, the autonomic and somatic nervous systems), including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue, such as muscle. Neurological practice relies heavily on the field of neuroscience, the scientific study of the nervous system.
A neurologist is a physician specializing in neurology and trained to investigate, or diagnose and treat neurological disorders. Neurologists may also be involved in clinical research, clinical trials, and basic or translational research. While neurology is a nonsurgical specialty, its corresponding surgical specialty is neurosurgery.
Significant overlap occurs between the fields of neurology and psychiatry, with the boundary between the two disciplines and the conditions they treat being somewhat nebulous.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
A neurologist is trained to diagnose and treat neurological disorders. Neurologists must first determine if a problem exists in the nervous system. The patient’s health history is reviewed followed by a neurological exam that assesses the function of cranial nerves, coordination, mental status, sensation, strength and reflexes.
Once a diagnosis is developed, more tests may be warranted to guide treatment. Diagnosis is carried out by tests such as the computed axial tomography scan, magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography or electromyography.
Neurological disorders are comprised of brain cancer, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord disorders, diseases that affect the muscles and peripheral nerves and neuromuscular junctions.
One major clinical division of neurology is neuro-oncology, which consists of the management of patients with primary brain tumours, metastases and the neurologic complications of cancer.
- What does a Neurologist Treat?
Neurologists treat disorders of the nervous system, brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.
- What does a Neurosurgeon Treat?
A neurosurgeon also treats disorders of the nervous system, brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles, using surgical techniques in conjunction with non-surgical practices.
- What are Neurological Disorders?
Neurological disorders are diseases of the brain, spine and nerves; there are more than 600 diseases of the nervous system, such as brain tumours, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.
- What are Common Neurological Disorders?
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Brain Tumours
- Cerebrovascular Diseases
- Headaches and Migraines
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neuromuscular Diseases
- Peripheral Nerve Disorders
- Sleep Disorders
- Spinal Disorders
- How do you Treat Neurological Disorders?
The treatment is different for each condition. To discover the appropriate treatment options, neurologists will perform and interpret tests of your brain and nervous system.
- What is a Neurological Examination Like?
The neurologist will review the patient health history, paying special attention to the condition that they are currently experiencing. The patient will have an examination, which typically tests the vision, strength, coordination, memory, reasoning and puzzle-solving abilities, reflexes and ability to feel physical objects, smell, odours and hear sounds. The results of the test will help the neurologist determine if the problem stems from the brain or nervous system. The patient may need further tests to confirm a diagnosis or determine which treatment is best for him/her.