Neurologists are physicians who specialize in the care of neurological disorders - conditions affecting the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord.
Neurology is the field of medicine that specializes in disorders and diseases of the brain, nerves and spinal cord, which all okay an extremely vital role in every process of the body. Neurologists diagnose and treat a variety of neurological disorders using various skills and techniques honed during residency training and post-residency practice.
Neurologists are trained to diagnose and treat headaches and migraines, epilepsy, neuralgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, Bell’s palsy, brain and spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Huntington’s disease, complications resulting from strokes, transient ischemic attacks, subdural hemorrhage and hematoma and infectious disease-related neurological disorders (such as those resulting from meningitis, encephalitis, or polio), among many others.
Neurologists diagnose these conditions through laboratory tests (such as blood and urine tests, genetic DNA tests, or spinal and brain fluid tests), angiographies, biopsies, general neurological examinations, x-rays, fluoroscopies, brain scans, cerebrospinal fluid analyses, CT scans, discographies, cisternographies, EKGs (electrocardiograms) or EEGs (electroencephalograms), and many procedures. Depending upon the diagnosis and specific disorder, neurologists may employ any of the following treatments: brain mapping, CyberKnife™ and Gamma Knife™ radiosurgeries, preventive measures, therapy, medication, lifestyle changes and rehabilitative procedures, among others.
Training to become a neurologist requires the completion of a demanding and arduous program of study. The educational track commences with the completion of a bachelor’s degree and a four year MD or DO degree from a medical school. Following graduation from medical school, the physician must complete a one year internship before entering a three year neurology residency. During the residency, the physician is trained and supervised by experienced neurologists in the diagnostic and treatment techniques pertinent to the specialty.
Following successful completion of the residency, the physician may seek certification in neurology from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), as well any additional requisite licenses or certifications. Neurologists may pursue additional training and education to become board certified in a specialized area of neurology, such as pediatric neurology or geriatric neurology, by completing a specialized fellowship program.