What is a Neurologist?

What is a neurologist? A neurologist is a medical doctor who is specialized in the diagnosis and management of disorders of the nervous system. Neurologists are generally trained in the full assessment of the nervous system and the diagnosis of just about every type of disorder which affects the nervous system.

However, neurologists only offer medical treatment of these disorders and are not trained in surgical treatments. A neurosurgeon is a different specialist who uses invasive treatments (surgery) to treat various forms of nervous system disease.

While a neurologist can often be involved in the initial work-up and diagnosis of just about any form of neurological disease, they take the lead in treatment in select types of cases. For example, non-surgical diseases such as multiple sclerosis, meningitis, Alzheimer's disease and others are largely the domaine of the neurologist. Many other disorders may be treated by a neurologist but a neurosurgeon may be involved in certain situations, particularly if medical treatments are not sufficient to control the disease and surgical options are being entertained. These disorders include Parkinson's disease, some types of stroke, epilepsy, spinal disease and others. There are some disorders that are mostly the domaine of neurosurgeons and neurologists usually have a limited role in their treatment, such as head trauma, hydrocephalus, brain tumors, etc.

Neurologists can practice general neurology or they may sub-specialize in a particular area. For example, some neurologists specialize in neuro-oncology (the treatment of tumors of the nervous system), epilepsy, pain management, rehabilitation, headache, stroke or peripheral nerve disease including use of EMG (electromyography) and nerve conduction studies.



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Important Note: This site is not intended to offer medical advice. Every patient is different, and only your personal physician can help to counsel you about what is best for your situation. What we offer is general reference information about various disorders and treatments for your education.

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