Introduction to Neurology: Neurology is the branch of medicine concerned with the study and treatment of disorders of the nervous system. The nervous system is a complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates body activities.
A neurologist is a physician specializing in neurology and trained to investigate, or diagnose and treat neurological disorders. Neurologists may also be involved in clinical research, clinical trials, and basic or translational research. While neurology is a nonsurgical specialty, its corresponding surgical specialty is neurosurgery.
Significant overlap occurs between the fields of neurology and psychiatry, with the boundary between the two disciplines and the conditions they treat being somewhat nebulous.
Neurology has two major divisions:
1: Central nervous system: The brain and spinal cord,
2: Peripheral nervous system: All other neural elements, such as eyes, ears, skin, and other “sensory receptors” A doctor who specializes in neurology is called a neurologist. The neurologist treats disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, such as:
- Cerebrovascular disease, such as stroke
- Demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis
- Headache disorders
- Infections of the brain and peripheral nervous system
- Movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease
- Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Seizure disorders, such as epilepsy
- Spinal cord disorders
- Speech and language disorders
Neurologists do not perform surgery. If one of their patients requires surgery, they refer them to a neurosurgeon.