Neurology is the branch of medicine which deals with disorders and diseases of the brain and its extensions viz. Spinal, cord, nerves and muscles.
Neurologist opinion is required when the patient has signs and symptoms of disorders related to the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and muscles.
Common disorders for which neurologist's opinion is required includes stroke, brain hemorrhage, brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, migraine, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, dementia, Myasthenia Gravis, Guillain Barre syndrome, myosotis/myopathy, muscular dystrophies, etc.
Neurological disorders can have variety of symptoms which include headache, convulsions/fits, memory loss, sudden loss of vision, double vision, slurred speech swallowing difficulty, facial asymmetry, weakness in one half of body (commonly called as paralysis), weakness in both hands or both legs, tremulousness in hands, tingling or numbness in hands or legs, difficulty in walking.
Neurosurgeon primarily deals with diseases where operation in the brain or spinal cord is required. Eg- large brain tumors, hematoma (blood clots) in the brain, head injury. The neurologist does not operate on the brain but treats the diseases with medicines.
Psychiatrist primarily deals with psychological disorders like schizophrenia, depression, mania. The brain is often structurally normal in psychological disorders but the mind is at fault.
Yes. Many neurological disorders can have initial symptoms of psychological illness like change in behavior, depression-like symptoms. It is later when the patient starts having other symptoms like weakness or headache when a neurological disorder like stroke or brain tumor is identified.
Yes, most of the neurological disorders are treatable with medications. However, a correct diagnosis and early treatment are necessary for the same. However, there are few neurological disorders that don't have a definite cure today in medical science however the severity of symptoms of these diseases can be reduced by medicines so that patient can have a good quality of life.
Stroke is sudden onset weakness in one half of the body due to either blockage or rupture of blood vessels in the brain.
When the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted due to the formation of clot in the blood vessel or if it ruptures due to high pressure in the vessel it causes decreased supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain because of which part of the body which is supplied by the injured brain becomes weak or paralyzed.
Patients who have a stroke are often absolutely normal when they suddenly feel weakness or numbness in one half of the body, facial deviation, slurred speech, inability to speak or understand what is spoken to them, imbalance of the body, double vision, difficulty in swallowing or change in voice.
It is very important to identify stroke symptoms early and to take the patient to a hospital as early as possible where a neurologist and facility for thrombolysis is available. This is because thrombolysis can only be done in the first 4.5 hrs after onset of stroke symptoms.
Thrombolysis is the process by which medication is given through blood vessels in the patients of a stroke to dissolve the clot in the blood vessel so that the obstructed blood flow to the brain is normalized. However, this can only be done within the first 4.5 hours of a stroke.
Migraine is a disorder in which the patient has repeated episodes of distressing headache along with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, visual symptoms, unable to tolerate bright lights or loud sounds.
Migraine is not curable but is easily treatable if the patient takes regular medications for the same along with certain lifestyle modifications and diet restrictions.
Epilepsy is the disorder in which the patient has repeated episodes of fits/convulsions due to abnormal excessive discharges in the brain.
Epilepsy is curable if the patient takes regular medications as advised by doctors.
Epilepsy surgery is an operation done in few selected cases of epilepsy in which a definite point or focus of epilepsy in the brain can be identified or localized. This point which causes seizures or convulsions is removed in epilepsy surgery.
Epilepsy surgery is done seizure freedom and not for stopping medications. However many patients can become medication free after a few years of epilepsy surgery.
Multiple sclerosis is a disorder in which there are repeated episodes of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord due to which patient can have various neurological symptoms which if untreated can lead to permanent damage and disability.
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis are variable ranging from weakness in one half of the body or both legs, vision loss in one or both eyes, tingling in hands or legs, urinary symptoms, fatigue, etc. If untreated, the patient can have repeated episodes of these symptoms which can cause permanent disability over time.
Parkinsons disease is a disorder in which a patient has multiple symptoms like tremors, slowness in doing day to day activities, difficulty in walking, stiffness in hands and legs, etc.
Parkinsons disease is not curable but a majority of its symptoms can be alleviated by proper medications so that the quality of life of a patient is significantly improved.
Yes, selected patients of Parkinson's disease can be treated with surgery called deep brain stimulation or DBS.
DBS is a procedure in which a pacemaker-like instrument is inserted in the body and its electrodes are inserted in deep areas of the brain so that certain areas of the brain are stimulated by small electric current. This results in significant improvement in symptoms of Parkinson's disease in carefully selected patients.
Dementia is the disorder of the elderly population in which a patient can have significant memory loss along with other behavioral changes.
Many of the dementia cases don't have a definite cure however medications can be given to slow the disease process and improve symptoms of dementia. However many curable diseases can mimic dementia and it is very important to consult a neurologist as early as possible to rule out these potentially curable diseases.
Motor neuron disease is the disease in which patient has progressive weakness of all 4 limbs along with breathing and swallowing difficulty due to progressive damage to cells in the spinal cord which provide power in all muscles of our body.
Unfortunately today modern science does not have a definite cure for motor neuron disease. Certain medications can be given to slow the progression of the disease. Also, it is extremely important to identify treatable disorders which can mimic motor neuron disease for which a neurologist should be consulted.
Guillain Barre syndrome is a disorder in which nerves of our body progressively become weak due to which patient can have significant weakness in the whole body, difficulty in swallowing and breathing difficulty.
Yes, Guillain Barre syndrome is curable with certain medications or by a process called plasmapheresis in which whole blood in our body is filtered. However, it needs to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
Myasthenia gravis is a disorder in which the chemicals between nerve and muscles are reduced due to excessive self-destructive immune process causing muscle weakness.
Drooping of eyelids, double vision, difficulty in swallowing, difficulty in speaking, difficulty in breathing, excessive fatiguability, weakness. Hallmark feature of myasthenia is that the symptoms often fluctuating and tend to be worse in the evening.
Yes, myasthenia is curable with medications.