A neuropathologist is a doctor who diagnoses / treats diseases of the nervous system. The competence of a specialist includes working with the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
Since 1980, the field has been renamed to neurology, and the specialist, respectively, to a neurologist. What you need to know about the discipline, under what symptoms should refer to a neurologist and what to expect from therapy?
General characteristics of the direction
Neurology is a group of scientific disciplines that studies the norms and pathologies of the nervous system. A doctor who has received basic medical education and has undergone specialized training is called a neurologist.
He works with diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, deals with issues of developmental mechanisms, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
A neurologist often works in conjunction with other specialists. Most pathologies are accompanied by changes in mental functionality and behavior. In this case, psychiatrists or psychotherapists are attracted to therapy.
Until the XIX century, neuropathology was part of the program of private pathology and therapy. Later it was allocated in independent clinical discipline. In the last decade a new branch has been formed - animal neurology. It is actively developed abroad.
Neurological diagnoses are most often detected in dogs and cats, but veterinarians claim that this will soon be common practice for any kind of animal. The only caveat - veterinary psychoneurology has no evidence base, since it is impossible to interview a patient.
There is a misconception that a neurologist treats psychological disorders. In fact, the specialist works with disorders of the nervous system, as with the causes of the underlying disease (encephalitis, Alzheimer's disease), and a psychologist works with mental problems (depression).
What is included in the list of duties doctor
The doctor identifies the cause of violations of the body, sets the focus and degree of damage to the nervous system, issues directions for additional diagnostics and makes up a therapeutic course.
A neurologist is treated with the maximum range of symptoms - from frequent headaches to visual impairment, since all internal changes are somehow connected with the work of the nerves.
Incomplete list of diseases with which the neurologist works:
- mechanical damage to the back / head, infectious diseases and their consequences for the body;
- Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's;
- stroke, its consequences and possible relapses;
- episodic back pain (osteochondrosis, hernia, sciatica);
- epileptic seizures and convulsions;
- impairment or loss of consciousness without a certain etiology;
- frequent headache, migraine, tremor, nervous tic;
- sleep disorders, failure of biological rhythm;
- cancer tumors in the spinal cord or brain.
In a separate category distinguished pediatric neurologists. The nervous system of a newborn child is almost no different from an adult, but some of its departments remain underdeveloped. As the child adapts and grows, these differences smooth out - the surface of the cerebral cortex increases, the ratio of the brain and spinal cord is regulated, the speed of passage of impulses is normalized, and so on.
Experts emphasize that the majority of chronic pathologies of the nervous system is formed precisely in childhood.
It is very important to develop the child correctly, regularly examine his health and nerve functionality.
What symptoms should ask for help
Migraine, frequent unreasonable headache, sleep problems, disruptions of biological rhythm, insomnia, an apathetic condition should encourage a neurologist to go. So the body is trying to tell us about internal problems that need to be resolved rather than ignored, attributing to temporary fatigue or the common cold. Attention should be paid to the tingling or numbness of the limbs, tinnitus, problems with coordination, occasional pain in different parts of the body.
Disorders of consciousness, memory impairment, anxiety, dizziness, or frequent loss of consciousness should also prompt the patient to seek help. Additional consultation with a neurologist will not prevent pregnant women, people with hereditary and chronic diseases, mechanical injuries of the body or vascular disorders.
Do not know which specialist to contact? Make an appointment with a GP (general practitioner). He will listen to your complaints, determine their etiology and redirect them to a specialized specialist.
Methods of diagnosis, treatment and prevention
The consultation of a neurologist is no different from an appointment with an ordinary therapist. First, the doctor collects anamnesis, asks the patient about complaints, general health, hereditary diseases and so on. Then the specialist conducts a visual inspection, palpation of the affected areas of the body, checking reflexes and brain activity. If the information received is not enough, the neurologist gives the patient a referral for diagnosis. The diagnostic method depends on the area being investigated and the severity of the condition.
Computed tomography reveals areas of hemorrhage, malformations of veins / arteries, tissue changes after mechanical damage or a heart attack. Magnetic resonance imaging is considered a more modern diagnostic method.
The study provides more detailed information about the state of health and does not harm the human body. Ultrasound examination is prescribed for the diagnosis of large vessels of the neck, and lumbar puncture is necessary for meningitis, tumors or internal hemorrhages. X-rays are prescribed to detect intervertebral hernias, vertebral proliferation, or neoplastic processes. Angiography allows you to identify diseases / changes in the blood vessels of the brain, and electroencephalography is most often used when epilepsy is suspected.
In some cases, it is necessary to be examined by other doctors - an ophthalmologist, a cardiologist, an endocrinologist. This will help to form a clear picture of the disease, confirm or deny the diagnosis.
The therapeutic course is based on the diagnosis. The treatment of traumatic brain injury and lumbago (acute lower back pain) will be radically different. Clear follow medical instructions and refuse self-treatment or folk remedies. Unlike therapy, preventive measures are the same for most patients. The neurologist advises to go on a healthy lifestyle, sleep 8 hours a day, join in with feasible physical activity and eat more fresh vegetables / fruits. Another important component of prevention - regular inspection. Visit a neurologist according to doctor's prescriptions or 1-2 times a year for a routine medical examination.