Frequently Asked Neurological Questions
What is a
A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in
diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous
system. A neurologist's educational background and medical training
includes an undergraduate degree, four years of medical school, a
one-year internship and three years of specialized training. Many
neurologists also have additional training in one area of neurology such
as stroke, epilepsy or movement disorders.
What is the role of the Neurologist?
Neurologists are principal care providers or consultants to other
physicians. When a patient has a neurological disorder that requires
frequent care, a neurologist is often the principal care provider.
Patients with disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease
or multiple sclerosis may use a neurologist as their principal care
In a consulting role, a neurologist will diagnose and treat a
neurological disorder and then advise the primary care physician
managing the patient's overall health. For example, a neurologist would
act in a consulting role for conditions such as stroke, concussion or
Neurologists can recommend surgical treatment, but do not perform
surgery. When treatment includes surgery, neurologists will monitor
surgically treated patients and supervise their continuing treatment.
Neurosurgeons are medical doctors who specialize in performing surgical
treatments of the brain or nervous system.
What does a neurologist treat?
Neurologists treat disorders of the nervous system, brain, spinal cord,
nerves, muscles and pain. Common neurological disorders include:
neurological disorders treated?
Many disorders can be treated. Treatment or symptomatic relief is
different for each condition. To find treatment options, neurologists
will perform and interpret tests of the brain or nervous system.
Treatment can help patients with neurological disorders maintain the
best possible quality of life.
What is a neurological examination?
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
vision, strength, coordination, reflexes and sensation. This information
helps the neurologist determine if the problem is in the nervous system.
Further tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis or to find a specific
Why do patients need a neurological examination?
An examination is used when a family doctor seeks a specialized opinion
about a patient whose symptoms may involve the brain or nervous system.
The examination may also be performed when a patient wants a second
opinion from a neurologist. The neurologist's expertise in disorders of
the brain and nervous system can give patient's effective diagnosis and
treatment for neurological disorders.