A neurologist is a physician with extensive specialized training in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of disorders of the brain, spinal cord, muscles and peripheral nerves. The following are examples of neurological disorders:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Peripheral nerves disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
Generally, a neurologist acts as a consultant to diagnose and treat neurological conditions, and advises the primary treating physician of the patient’s progress. In order to make a proper diagnosis, the neurologist obtains a detailed medical history, and conducts a neurological examination. Additional tests may be indicated such as NCS/EMG (nerve study), EEG (brain wave test), or Imaging studies (MRI or CAT scan).
The vast majority of neurological conditions can be effectively treated with medications or other non-surgical means. However, in the event surgical treatment is indicated, the patient is referred to a neurosurgeon or other appropriate surgical specialist.
NCS (Nerve Conduction Study)
The results of NCS/EMG are reported to the referring physician in order to assist in additional management or treatment decisions.
This test is utilized to study the brain waves and assess for suspected seizures, episodes of impairment of consciousness, and confusional states.
Many electrodes are placed on the head and record the brain’s own electrical activity. The electrodes feed into a computer that displays the activity in a wave form. This test does not entail any electric stimulation and the brain activity is passively recorded. Some activation procedures are applied such as deep breathing and stimulation with flashing lights.
The neurologist formulates an interpretation and reports the results to the referring physician.Please wash and dry your hair and do not use conditioners, hair spray, etc. No braids, hair extension, or weaves.
CAT Scan (Computer Assisted Tomography)
This test uses X-Ray beams and a computer to construct imaging slices of the brain or the spine. Sometimes a contrast material is injected into a vein prior to the test. The test is harmless and takes only several minutes to be completed.
MRI Scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
With the help of a magnetic field and radio-frequency waves, a detailed image of the brain or the spine is constructed in 3 dimensions. No x-rays or radiation is used. Sometimes a contrast material is injected into a vein prior to the test. The test may take up to 45 minutes to complete.