A neurologist is a doctor who deals with the prevention, research, and treatment of diseases of the nervous system. Neurology is a branch of science that studies anatomy, physiology, and diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system.
About 30% of all visits to a neurologist are diseases of the peripheral nervous system:
- osteochondrosis, etc.
At the reception, the neurologist checks reflexes, muscle strength, sensitivity, and the peripheral and autonomic nervous system state, the vestibular apparatus. For this, the neurologist uses special tools and carries out simple tests. Everything is painless and does not cause discomfort.
Patients of a neurologist are most often older people. However, diseases in the profile of this doctor are rapidly growing younger due to poor ecology, improper lifestyle, and nutrition. Therefore, now everyone from mothers with babies to retirees goes to a neurologist.
Symptoms for which it is worth contacting a neurologist:
- Headaches that are sudden, sharp, increasing
- Dizziness, fainting, lightheadedness
- Pain in the limbs, back, neck, body
- Shooting facial pains on gusts of wind, touching, talking, or chewing food
- Muscle weakness
- Unsteadiness of gait, general impairment of coordination of movements
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia
- Visual impairment, double vision, loss of parts of the visual fields, blurred outlines of objects and people, islands of blindness
- Speech disorders inability to control the tongue and lips, inability to build competent phrases, lack of speech, altered voice volume
- Uncontrolled hand or head movements, speech tics, and uncontrolled coughing or sniffing while talking
- Descent of the century
- Memory impairment.
What does a neurologist treat?
A neurologist treats an extensive list of diseases. In fact, there are many complaints, and they may refer not only to diseases of the nervous system but also to internal organs, cardiovascular system, etc. The most common complaint with which a neurologist is referred to is a pain in the back or neck, including due to diseases of the spine (herniated intervertebral discs, osteochondrosis, spondyloarthritis, etc.). Therefore, a neurologist is often known as a doctor who treats osteochondrosis. In addition, they turn to them with complaints of headaches, dizziness, unsteadiness when walking, weakness in the arms or legs, feeling of numbness, decreased sensitivity, convulsions, and memory impairment.
The main task is to identify damage to the nervous system (if any) and possible causes from other systems and organs. In this case, these complaints may be secondary; the primary cause is not neurological (for example, numbness of fingers and toes in diabetes or poisoning with toxic substances). Therefore, the treatment of a disease is often carried out in conjunction with other specialists. The task of the neurologist in this situation is to suspect the problem and refer the patient for an examination or consultation with another specialist.
Common diseases that a neurologist treats:
- Back and neck pain. These can be injuries of the spine and spinal cord (sprains) or conditions caused by overload, intervertebral hernia, osteochondrosis, protrusion, etc. However, most often, pain occurs due to diseases of the spine against the background of compression of the spinal roots.
- Headaches and facial pains. A neurologist deals with the problem of head and facial pain.
Most of these pains are primary; they arise independently and are not associated with pathological processes, migraines, headaches from overexertion, and cranial neuralgia. However, many secondary pains occur against the background of other diseases, infections, lesions of the cervical spine and skull, and injuries. Separately, they talk about the pain that appears in response to the withdrawal of any drug after a long course of administration.
- Dizziness. When walking, a person loses balance, may lose consciousness, or simply fall. Often the cause of this phenomenon is damage to the vestibular apparatus or blood flow through the vertebral arteries.
- Weakness in the legs or arms. Muscle weakness can be in some individual muscles or many at once; it develops gradually or suddenly. The patient may have other symptoms depending on the cause. Muscle weakness is often associated with compression of the spinal cord or spinal roots due to herniated disc or other pathologies.
- Diseases of the internal organs. A good neurologist will distinguish one from the other and prescribe competent treatment and consultation with a specialized specialist. This diagnosis is also the competence of a neurologist because often, back pain is not at all a consequence of osteochondrosis or hernia at all, but this is how the pathology of an internal organ manifests itself.
- Nervous system pathologies. A neurologist monitors the normal functioning of the nervous system and deals with its diseases. It is essential to see a doctor as early as possible because some disorders in the later stages lead to disability, are extremely difficult to stop, and may not be completely cured.
Diseases associated with pathologies of the brain:
- Stroke. This is a sudden and rapid violation of blood circulation in the brain with damage to its parts. As a result, the functions for which the affected area was responsible are lost. Symptoms range from decreased vision to complete paralysis.
When a stroke occurs, it counts for hours, and the patient must be immediately taken to the hospital to diagnose the type of stroke and prescribe therapy. The treatment carried out in the first hours after the attack increases the chances of recovery.
- Epilepsy. This disease is dealt with by an epileptologist, a neurologist who is an expert in this field. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease that develops due to the presence of pathological foci in the brain. These foci excite neurons, which causes involuntary convulsions in a person. The patient is detached from reality during an attack and can harm himself; this distinguishes epilepsy from normal seizures.
In most cases, epilepsy is curable, and a good neurologist will definitely help.
- Alzheimer’s disease. It is a neurodegenerative process in the brain that begins in people over 65. In rare cases, earlier. It is accompanied by apathy, impaired memory, motor functions, speech, coordination, perception of the external world and people, gradual exhaustion, and loss of everyday skills.
- Parkinson’s disease. A neurologist who specializes in this condition is a parkinsologist. The disease progresses slowly and is a degenerative process in the brain, namely its structures responsible for maintaining muscle tone, controlling movements, and posture.
It is manifested by a limitation of the pace and range of motion, muscle stiffness, trembling of the limbs, and instability of posture. Accompanied by mental and autonomic disorders.
The consequences of psycho-emotional overstrain:
- Insomnia and sleep disturbances. Delay in falling asleep, violation of the duration and depth of sleep, etc. The primary causes of trauma, nervous tension, neurological diseases.
- Arterial hypertension. In this disease, blood pressure is consistently above 140/90 mm Hg. Art. As a result, concomitant changes in the blood vessels and heart development. The main physician who treats arterial hypertension is a cardiologist. However, the cause of the disease is psycho-emotional stress, so examination by a neurologist is mandatory.
Who treats neuroses, a neurologist or a psychotherapist?Neuroses are treated by both of these specialists simultaneously.
Who Treats Depression and Prescribes Antidepressants?Depression often accompanies neurological diseases; it can be a symptom of organic brain damage. It always worsens the clinic of neurological disease, reduces the patient’s recovery. A neurologist can treat minor and subsyndromal depressions on their own. The neurologist also prescribes antidepressants, but the minimum of side effects and negative interactions with other drugs is more important than the clinical efficacy of the drugs.
Who Treats Alzheimer’s Disease?It is best if both of these specialists are involved in maintaining the patient’s normal condition, each in its profile; this will help you better adapt and improve your quality of life.