Neurology 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 system (and its subdivisions, the autonomic nervous system and the somatic nervous system); including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue, such as muscle.
Neurological practice relies heavily on the field of neuroscience, which is the scientific study of the nervous system.
Some of the commonly encountered conditions treated by neurologists include headaches, radiculopathy, neuropathy, stroke, dementia, seizures and epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, Tourette’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, head trauma, sleep disorders, neuromuscular diseases, and various infections and tumors of the nervous system.
Neurologists are also asked to evaluate unresponsive patients on life support in order to confirm brain death.Treatment options vary depending on the neurological problem. They can include everything from referring the patient to a physiotherapist, to prescribing medications, to recommending a surgical procedure.
During a neurological examination, the neurologist reviews the patient’s health history with special attention to the current condition. The patient then takes a neurological exam. Typically, the exam tests mental status, function of the cranial nerves (including vision), strength, coordination, reflexes, and sensation. This information helps the neurologist determine whether the problem exists in the nervous system and the clinical localization. Localization of the pathology is the key process by which neurologists develop their differential diagnosis. Further tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis and ultimately guide therapy and appropriate management.