When should you see a neurologist?
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When should you see a neurologist?

A neurologist is recommended in case of organic diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nervous system and muscles. Neurologists treat the whole person and help patients with chronic neurological diseases.

The following are the different typical neurological diseases:

  • Cerebrovascular accidents and cerebral hemorrhage.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • epilepsy;
  • Disorders of consciousness, memory and dementia.
  • Headache and migraine.
  • Dizziness.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Diseases of the nerves and nerve roots, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and intervertebral disc problems.
  • Neuropathy.
  • restless leg syndrome.
  • Back ache.

What are the signs that I should see a neurologist?

Discomfort in certain parts of the body, partial paralysis, unsteadiness of standing or walking, loss of consciousness or unusual headaches are all reasons to consult a neurologist. A neurologist should also be consulted if a person suffers from migraines, back pain, or other chronic pain. It should be noted that individuals may experience or notice very different symptoms.

Dizziness, changes in hearing and speech, loss of vision – neurological symptoms can affect all sensory organs of the body. Tremors, muscle stiffness, muscle weakness, and back pain spreading to the legs and arms should be checked for.

The onset of dementia can manifest as confusion, increased forgetfulness, loss of daily abilities, and behavioral changes. At first, a person experiences lapses in short-term memory and confusion. Often, people with the disease tend to withdraw into themselves to hide their vulnerability.

What is the role of a neurologist?

Discusses the patient’s symptoms in detail (documenting their medical history) for a comprehensive evaluation. During a head-to-toe clinical neurological exam, the neurologist looks for external symptoms and tests nerve reflexes, paying attention to a person’s gait and posture to determine if a disorder is affecting their ability to balance. The examination can also identify changes in the skin and muscles, as well as injuries (falls).

Humans have 12 cranial nerves. The work of these nerves can be affected by disease, injury, or inflammation in the brain. Since each cranial nerve has a very specific function, it can be examined using functional tests (smell, taste, vision, voice, facial muscles, etc.). During a neurological examination, the doctor also regularly tests a person’s mental and psychological abilities. A memory test may also be performed if any abnormalities appear.

Possible diagnosis:

Depending on the results, additional diagnoses may be performed, including laboratory blood and urine tests, or the taking of cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal canal (lumbar puncture).

  • NCV: a measurement of nerve conduction velocity.
  • EEG: measurement of brain waves (electroencephalography).
  • Electromyography: measurement of muscle activity (electromyography).
  • Aroused potentials: Every sensory stimulus in the body causes measurable brain activity.
  • Doppler and duplex ultrasound: Ultrasound examinations of the vessels and the brain.
  • Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography: other methods of imaging the brain
  • dementia test

After carrying out the necessary examinations on a case-by-case basis, it is usually possible to diagnose one of the neurological diseases listed above as the cause.

If, for example, it turns out to be a circulatory disorder in the brain (stroke), then regular monitoring of risk factors and brain vessels (ultrasound) is also necessary as part of subsequent treatment (usually medication).

The procedure is the same if, for example, multiple sclerosis is diagnosed as the cause of the symptoms. Once acute treatment has begun, regular clinical examinations and follow-up with imaging and other preventive treatments are necessary.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the advice of a health professional.

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