When it comes to diseases and conditions of the nervous system, there are different types of doctors you can go to. The most common of which are neurologists and neurosurgeons.

If you are wondering what is the difference between a neurologist and neurosurgeon, you’re in the right place! That’s exactly what we’ll cover in this article. So let’s get right into it.

What Is A Neurologist? 

A neurologist is a type of medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating medical conditions of the nervous system. They provide treatment for specific medical conditions affecting the spine, such as:

  • Stroke
  • Epilepsy
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Sleep disorders
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Brain tumors
  • Brain aneurysms

There are also different subtypes of neurologists. Each neurologist has their specialty as well. These subtypes include: 

  • Clinical neurophysiologists 
  • Vascular neurologists
  • Neurologists for palliative care and pain management 
  • Neurodevelopmental and neuromuscular neurology
  • Pediatric neurologists

Neurologists will most often prescribe different types of therapies and/or medications to help treat the above disorders. In some cases they may even perform minimally invasive procedures on a patient. 

They will also use some diagnostic tests to help identify and diagnose neurological conditions. Some of these test include electroencephalograms (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computer-assisted tomography (CAT) scans. 

What Is A Neurosurgeon? 

Much like a neurologist, a neurosurgeon specializes in diagnosing medical conditions that affect the nervous system. They may also perform tests to help diagnose neurological conditions, often of the brain and spine. However, they specialize surgical treatments on the brain or spine for these medical conditions. 

That means that they perform surgeries. A neurosurgeon treats medical conditions such as: 

  • Congenital anomalies
  • Trauma
  • Tumor
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Brain and spine infections
  • Stroke 
  • Degenerative diseases of the spine

Now that we have given you an idea of what neurosurgeons and neurologists are, let us compare the differences between the two.

What Is The Difference Between A Neurosurgeon And a Neurologist?

There is a lot of overlap between what a neurologist and neurosurgeon do. But there are a few differences. 

The biggest, most obvious difference between them is whether they perform surgery or not. While a neurologist may perform a Lumbar Puncture or other minimally invasive procedures, they do not do surgery. 

If in the course of diagnosing and/or treating a patient, they believe surgery is necessary, they will refer the patient to a neurosurgeon. A neurosurgeon is the one who will perform surgery on the brain, neck, back and spinal cord.

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