Are you wondering what does a neurologist do? If so, you’re in the right spot. Below is a brief overview (in plain English) to answer that question.

What Does a Neurologist Do?

The short answer is they do a lot in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases and disorders. Basically these are issues that affect the brain and nervous system. The longer answer will depend on what type of neurologist and the work setting they’re in. 

Neurologists who work in clinical settings work with patients to diagnose and treat issues with the nervous system. Other neurologists may focus on research. They will study and perform medical tests to better understand the causes of different neurological conditions. They may also work on developing and testing new treatment options.

Common Tasks for Neurologists

Here’s some of the more common tasks that neurologists may do on a regular basis.

  • Consult with / perform exams on patients with neurological disorders.
  • Perform / order tests to help diagnose patients. These tests can include blood tests, imaging tests (ie. MRI, CT scan), cognitive tests and spinal fluid tests.
  • Diagnose diseases and disorders based on the exams/tests they perform.
  • Round on and manage patients in the ICU.
  • Prepare EEG and EMG/NCS machines if they need them. 
  • Perform nerve blocks, facet blocks, epidurals, and intra-articular injections.
  • Prescribe medications to treat medical conditions that affect the nervous system, such as migraines. 

Even though their practice is mainly on treating nervous system conditions, including those in the spine, they also provide palliative care for people suffering from a nervous system disease that is not easily curable.

Develop treatment plans and manage the continued care of patients with a wide range of neurological disorders.

Conditions That Neurologists May Help Treat

A neurologist provides treatment for the following medical conditions that affect the nervous system such as:

  • Stroke
  • Epilepsy
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease/Dementia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Brain tumors
  • Brain aneurysms

There are multiple subtypes of neurologists. Each type has a specialty they focus on what they do and the types of patients they work with. Here’s an overview of the common types.

Neurodevelopmental Neurologists

These doctors focus on nervous system conditions that affect the patient’s brain and nervous system development. Even though they usually do not provide treatment and cure, they try their best to improve the quality of life of their patients by giving them care. 

Palliative Neurologists

Palliative neurologists focus on treating and managing the patient’s chronic pain. The nervous system sends pain signals to the body, but sometimes the pain is too much for the patient’s bod. This is one situation where a palliative neurologist may come in.

Clinical Neurophysiologists 

These doctors focus on the interaction between the brain and the body. Their job is more on identifying specific medical conditions which will help to determine a more precise treatment. 

Neuromuscular Neurologists

These doctors focus on giving care to people experiencing neuromuscular diseases. This commonly includes ALS or muscular dystrophy.

Vascular Neurologists 

These types of neurologists focus on treating and taking care of the problems with the brain’s circulatory system. 

Pediatric Neurologists

These types of doctors are more on treating children. Mainly kids with nervous system problems that can lead to severe conditions if left untreated.

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