What Is A Neurologist?
- Posted on: Nov 30 2021
A neurologist is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of issues in the brain and the nervous system. A neurologist will not perform any surgery on a patient. Instead, they offer expert advice when the illness calls for one.
As such, a neurologist needs at least four years of medical school after college, 1-year internship, and three years of special training in neurology to become a neurologist. It is additionally common for a neurologist to specialize in a particular field like pain management.
What A Neurologist Does
A neurologist can care for a child or adult patient. They can also be general or a subspecialty-trained neurologist. A child neurologist will diagnose and treat neurological disorders in children from the time they are born up to the adolescence stages of life.
While child conditions might, in some cases, be unique, they are primarily similar to those of adults. Nonetheless, a child neurologist is also trained in neurogenetics and developmental issues.
A general neurologist can perform different procedures like the LP and NCS/EMG. But a subspecialty-trained neurologist will perform these procedures and delve deeper into other conditions like autonomic testing, intraoperative brain, and spine monitoring.
They also perform endovascular procedures like botulinum toxin injections, angiograms and coiling of aneurysms, and skin and muscle biopsies.
A neurologist diagnoses some of the most common brain illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease, concussion, migraine, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.
A neurologist can diagnose complex nervous system conditions by using the detailed history, physical examination, and testing of speech, sensation, reflexes, vision, gait, strength, coordination, and mental status. The neurological exam is still a significant part of the patient evaluation amidst the use of technology in medicine. Once the diagnosis is complete, the next step is performing tests.
Usually, a neurologist will perform these standard tests before determining a diagnosis:
● Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
● Computed tomography (CT) or a computer-assisted tomography (CAT) scan
● Electroencephalography (EEG)
● Lumbar puncture (LP) for cerebral spinal fluid analysis
● Nerve conduction studies and electromyography (NCS/EMG)
Do Neurologists Perform Procedures?
No. However, they work in collaboration with neurosurgeons to diagnose and treat several brain conditions. In some cases, the neurologist is present in the operating room when the neurosurgeon is performing a spinal cord or brain surgery.
A neurologist is trained to diagnose and treat any issues that are related to the brain. And while they often know the diagnosis from the exam, they might ask for tests, depending on the patient’s symptoms, to further get an inkling of issues. Nonetheless, their primary focus is the nervous system. Getting answers for complicated neurological questions may seem stressful, but the offices of Dr. Mollins will be able to answer any that you have once you contact us.
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