A neurologist is a doctor who has specialized training to diagnose, treat, and manage disorders of the brain or nervous system, including Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.
A pediatric or child neurologist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating neurologic disorders in children, from their infancy through adulthood. While some conditions are similar to those treated by adult neurologists and others are specific to the younger age group, there is some that overlap. Many of the conditions seen in children by neurologists include migraine, epilepsy, and stroke. They also have training in neurogenetics as well as treating developmental and neurogenetic problems.
WHAT DO NEUROLOGISTS DO?
Highly trained neurologists can diagnose complex conditions by taking a detailed history and performing a physical exam, which includes testing for mental status, vision, strength, sensations, coordination, reflexes, and gait. The neurological exam is still a vital component of patient evaluation, even as technology becomes more important in medicine.
The following are some common neurologic tests that can be used for the evaluation:
- Computer-assisted tomography scans (CAT) and computed tomography scans (CT).
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- Electroencephalography (EEG)
- Neuroconduction studies and electromyography (NCS/EMG).
- For cerebral spinal fluid analysis, Lumbar puncture (LP),
Because we don’t perform spinally or brain surgery, we are very different from neurosurgeons. Neurologists and neurosurgeons can work together to treat many conditions. Sometimes, they even share the operating room.
A variety of procedures are performed by general neurologists, including LP and NCS/EMG. Neurologists who have been trained in subspecialties can also perform intraoperative brain, spine, and autonomic monitoring. They also perform endovascular procedures such as angiograms and coiling aneurysms.