Outside of a general practitioner, various medical disciplines focus on diagnosing and treating specific ailments. A neurologist is one of those specialists, and they deal with issues of the nervous system, namely the spinal cord and brain. So, what does this doctor do and when do you need one? Below is a brief discussion about their area of practice, the symptoms and conditions they treat, and what you can expect if you need to visit one.
What Does a Neurologist Do?
The job of a neurologist is to test, diagnose, and treat conditions based on a patient’s neurological symptoms, including headaches, chronic dizziness, seizures, neuropathy—or nerve function—and stroke. They also work with patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and sometimes on-call for an emergency room for critical cases like trauma.
How Do They Diagnose Symptoms?
Based on your symptoms, your specialist will perform a variety of tests to diagnose a neurological condition. These include blood tests; motor, reflex, and sensory examinations; imaging, such as MRIs, to rule out other physical conditions; an electroencephalography (EEG) to determine seizure activity; and an electromyograph (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) to diagnose peripheral nerve function. Depending on the results of the diagnostic testing, your neurologist will determine the best course of treatment and help you manage your symptoms with various therapies.
As a specialty medical field, you will most likely require a referral from your primary care doctor before scheduling an appointment. For your consultation, it’s also helpful to have a written medical history available, as it assists your doctor with piecing together a timeline to pinpoint a neurological disorder.
As a 25-year veteran neurologist in Albemarle, NC, Dr. Ann R. Brewer dba Piedmont Neurology and her compassionate staff combine innovative treatments with personalized care. Whether you’re suffering from severe headaches or a loved one requires dementia care, their team has the experience, skill, and equipment to provide quality diagnostics and care. To schedule a consultation, contact them online or call (704) 982-6833 today.