West Hollywood Neurologist
A neurologist is a physician who specializes in neurology, and is trained to investigate, or diagnose and treat neurological disorders.
Neurology is the medical specialty related to the human nervous system. The nervous system encompasses the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. A specialist physician who treats patients suffering from neurological disease is called a neurologist. Related yet distinct fields of medicine include: psychiatry, neurosurgery and their subspecialties.
Neurologists examine patients who have been referred to them by other physicians in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. A neurologist will begin their interaction with a patient by taking a comprehensive medical history, and then perform a physical examination focusing on evaluating the nervous system. Components of the neurological examination include assessment of the patient's cognitive function, cranial nerves, motor strength, sensation, reflexes, coordination, and gait.
In some instances, neurologists may order additional diagnostic tests as part of the evaluation. Commonly employed tests in neurology include imaging studies such as computed axial tomography (CAT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound of major blood vessels of the head and neck. Neurophysiologic studies, including electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), and evoked potentials are also commonly ordered. Neurologists frequently perform lumbar punctures in order to assess characteristics of a patient's cerebrospinal fluid.
Some of the commonly encountered conditions treated by neurologists include headaches, radiculopathy, neuropathy, stroke, dementia, seizures and epilepsy, Parkinson's Disease, multiple sclerosis, head trauma, sleep disorders, neuromuscular diseases, and various infections and tumors of the nervous system.
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.
Some neurologists specialize in certain parts of the nervous system or in specific procedures. For example, clinical neurophysiologists specialize in the use of electrodiagnostic techniques (EEG and EMG) in order to diagnose certain neurological disorders. Neurosurgery is a distinct specialty which involves a different training path, and emphasizes the surgical treatment of neurological disorders.
There are also many non-medical doctors, those with PhD degrees in subjects such as biology and chemistry, who study and research the nervous system. Working in labs in universities, hospitals, and private companies, these neuroscientists perform clinical and laboratory experiments and tests in order to learn more about the nervous system and find cures or new treatments for diseases and disorders.
There is a great deal of overlap between neuroscience and neurology. A large number of neurologists work in academic training hospitals, where they conduct research as neuroscientists in addition to treating patients and teaching neurology to medical students.