What is Neurology?

Neurology BrainA neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating, and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system. Many neurologists also have additional training in other subspecialties of neurology such as stroke, epilepsy, neuromuscular disease, and movement disorders.

An accurate diagnosis is the first step toward effective treatment. Diagnosis involves getting a detailed health history of the patient, and neurologic tests for mental status, vision, strength, coordination, reflexes, and sensation.

Neurologists manage and treat neurological conditions or problems with the nervous system. Symptoms that commonly require a neurologist include:

  • Coordination problems
  • Muscle weakness
  • A change in sensation
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness

Having a problem with your senses such as touch, vision, smell? You may need to see a neurologist. Problems with senses are sometimes caused by nervous system disorders.

Neurologists can also treat patients with:

  • Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuromuscular disorders, such as myasthenia gravis
  • Infections of the nervous system, including encephalitis, meningitis, or brain abscesses
  • Neurogenerative disorders, such as Lou Gehrig’s diseases and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Spinal cord disorders, including inflammatory and autoimmune disorders
  • Headaches, such as cluster headaches and migraines

A neurological exam will test muscle strength, reflexes, and coordination. Since different disorders can have similar symptoms, your neurologist may need more testing to make a diagnosis. Some common neurologic tests are:

  • Computerized tomography or computer-assisted tomography (CT or CAT scan)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Transcranial Doppler (TCD)
  • Neurosonography
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Electromyogram including nerve conduction study (EMG)
  • Evoked potentials
  • Sleep studies
  • Cerebral spinal fluid analysis (Spinal Tap or Lumbar Puncture)