Neurology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, functions, and organic disorders of nerves and the nervous system. A neurologist who specializes in neurology studies and treats disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
Neurologists often diagnosis and treat conditions, such as:
Neurologists do not perform surgery; if surgery is needed, your neurologist will refer you to a neurosurgeon.
To make a diagnosis, a neurologist may use imaging tests such as:
A neurologist may also require psychical tests in order to make a formal diagnosis, such as:
Typically, the exam tests vision, strength, coordination, reflexes and sensation.
Your neurologist may use a lumbar puncture to test your spinal fluid. They may recommend the procedure if they believe your symptoms are caused by a problem in your nervous system that can be detected in your spinal fluid. The procedure involves inserting a needle into the spine after numbing it and taking a sample of spinal fluid.
This test measures electrical activity in the brain, by applying small electrodes to your head.
Other diagnostic procedures include sleep studies and angiography. Angiography determines blockages in the blood vessels going to the brain.
Your neurologist may help you manage your symptoms and neurological disorder alone, or work with your primary care physician and other specialists.