Neurology is a branch of medicine that deals with the structure, functions and development of the nervous system, and also nervous diseases. Neurologists study, diagnose and treat diseases related to the nervous and muscular system. Neurologists do not treat patients with surgical methods – that is the main difference between neurologists and neurosurgeons. Neurosurgeons deal mainly with the diseases of the nervous system that require surgical intervention, such as brain tumor, spinal cord herniation, aneurysm of a blood vessel in the brain, intracranial hematoma, disturbances of cerebrospinal fluid circulation etc. Neurologists primarily deal with the study and treatment of epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, muscle dystrophies, brain infarction, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, migraine, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and chronic neuropathic pains.
In most cases, patients come to a neurologist with a referral by a family doctor or some other specialized doctor. In case of cerebral infarction (brain infarction), the treatment begins in the emergency medicine centre already. In the acute phase of an infarction, the main treatment option is thrombolysis or thrombectomy, which helps to decrease brain damage caused by ischemia.
Men and women and different age groups have different problems. The nervous and muscular system of children is different from that of adults and therefore children are dealt with by pediatric neurologists. The task of a pediatric neurologist is to find the reason of a neurological disease, and ascertain the type and location of the damage in the nervous or muscular system. Pediatric neurologists work in close collaboration with geneticists as many genetic diseases become manifest in childhood in the form of developmental delay or some other neurological syndrome.
The central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord) is best studied with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). CT images can be enhanced by the use of contrast medium to better visualize and locate the lesions and assess the condition of neck and brain arteries. The latest neuroradiological imaging methods include functional MRI (fMRI), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and cerebral tractography or track density imaging (TDI).
The diseases of the peripheral nervous system and muscle diseases are best diagnosed with electroneuromyography (ENMG). ENMG is a safe and painless method for measuring the electrical activity of muscles and the speed of electrical impulses in neurites (nerve conduction velocity). This method enables to detect injuries to sensory and motor nerves and assess the electrical activity of muscles. Studying the electrical activity of muscles helps to discover hereditary muscle diseases, also called muscle dystrophies.
Neurologist’s consultation152 clinics
A neurologist or a nerve doctor is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, monitoring, prevention and non-surgical treatment of the disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system. A neurologist’s competence covers all neurological (that is, nerve system-related) symptoms and illnesses, such as dizziness, memory problems, backaches and headaches, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. During the first appointment, the neurologist usually examines the patient and prescribes necessary tests and analyses. Neurologists also give advice about the prevention of the diseases of the nervous system and plan subsequent treatment.