Neurologists are experts in neurology, the science of the nerves and nervous system. They can diagnose, treat and help prevent a wide variety of different conditions, both common and rare. They are your first point of contact for anything to do with the nervous system or its organic disorders.
What does a neurologist do?
According to the American Academy of Neurology, a neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of brain and nervous system conditions. Neurologists use diagnostic tests like electroencephalograms (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computer-assisted tomography (CAT) scans to identify neurological conditions. Neurologists may specialize in the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders, learning disabilities, pain management, and other chronic conditions.
A neurologist will often be your primary health care provider if you or a loved one has a neurological disorder that necessitates regular care. Neurologists can also treat neurological disorders, and then advise or consult your primary care or internal medicine doctor and other physicians to help manage your overall health.
Why would you see a neurologist?
If you’ve had a brain injury, seizure or stroke—the fifth leading cause of death in the United States—it’s likely you saw a neurologist at the hospital. A neurologist is trained in diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the nervous system, like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and other ailments of the brain, spinal cord and nerves.
Neurologists deal with some scary stuff, but they’re also helpful in managing smaller shifts in your health, like a change in sleep patterns or sudden memory trouble. These shifts may not seem all that significant, but they shouldn’t be ignored.
If you experience changes in balance, cognition, headaches or vision, make an appointment with your primary care physician (PCP) to be checked out. They will likely refer you to a neurologist if necessary.
What is the most common neurological disorder?
Alzheimer’s Disease — Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a disease of the brain that affects a person’s memory, thinking, and other abilities. It is progressive, meaning symptoms get worse and more functions are lost the longer an individual has Alzheimer’s.
Epilepsy — Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which seizures happen repeatedly. Depending on what type of seizure the person is experiencing, symptoms can vary. Some seizures involve severe shaking while others involve loss of awareness and alertness.
Bell’s Palsy — Bell’s palsy, a type of facial paralysis, is a disease that causes one side of the face to droop. It’s typically a temporary condition that will resolve on its own, although this can take a considerable amount of time of several weeks to months.
Multiple Sclerosis — Multiple sclerosis is a complex disease of the central nervous system, brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. It is thought to be an immune-mediated disease, meaning that errors in the function of the immune system cause damage in the central nervous system.
Parkinson’s Disease — Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that develops as a result of the death of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain.
Migraines — Migraine is the most common cause of disabling headaches, affecting 35 million Americans. Migraine is most often hereditary. Migraine attacks are characterized by recurrent episodes of pain that may be throbbing or pounding.
If you or someone you know is looking for a neurologist, look no further than Houston Neurology and Migraine Center! Our team of professional and caring staff can help you discover the health of your nervous system! Contact our office today to speak with a specialist. To schedule an appointment, call us or visit us online!