A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, evaluating and treatment/management of illnesses of nervous system. This includes the disorders affecting the brain, spinal cord,peripheral nerves and the muscles.

These disorders are either primarily due to intrinsic brain and the nervous system diseases or secondary to disorders of other organs that have affected the nervous system. Some of the more common primary nervous system disorders are: Epilepsy, parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's dementia, multiple sclerosis, migrain headaches, encephalitis.

The secondary conditions include all the illnesses that will have an adverse effect on the nervous system, to name a few are:strokes, diabetes, neuropathy, metastatic cancer to the brain and the spinal cord.

What is a neurological examination? The neurologist, like any other medical doctor will ask a lot of questions regarding the general health of the patient as well as specific neurological condition that he will be evaluating and treating. After the history portion he will do more specific examination of the nervous system, the areas of examination will include testing the vision, speach, cognition and memory, strength, coordination, reflexes, sensation, gait and stance. He may spend more time on one or more of the areas of testing depending on the prominant symptoms of his findings.

The neurologist usually request blood tests, or records of any prior testing by the refering physician. He may order tests such as neuro imaging, ie CT or MRI of the brain or spinal cord, EMG/NCS, EEG.( see the portion on neurological testing).

You may need to visit the neurologist several times during the period of initial evaluation and treament so the correct diagnosis and management for your specific condition is planned out. This is due to the fact that brain and the nervous system is the most complex and complicated system of all body organs.

Many diverse illnesses will manifest similar symptoms, and it is up to the neurologist to sort them out and make the correct diagnosis. For example a headache may be due to migraine, tension, meningitis, hypertension, brain tumor, pseudo tumor cerebri, cerebral hemorhage,  concussion, post traumatic disorder, and a host of other conditions which will appear very similar to the untrained eye, and it is the neurologist who will be able to sort all these conditions and come up with the right treatment plan.
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