When should I see a neurologist?

You should see a neurologist if you have organic disorders of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, or muscles. Neurologists provide comprehensive care and support for patients with chronic neurological conditions.

What are the most common symptoms that would warrant a visit to a neurologist?

The symptoms of neurological disorders are diverse. Paralysis, speech, vision, sensation, and memory disturbances, as well as concentration and orientation problems, are common. The most common symptoms that would warrant a visit to a neurologist include:

  • Headaches: If you have frequent headaches that do not respond to pain medication or are accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, or vision problems, it may be useful to see a neurologist.
  • Dizziness: Dizziness can have many causes, but if it occurs frequently or is accompanied by other neurological symptoms, it may be useful to see a neurologist.
    Numbness or tingling: If you experience numbness or tingling in your hands, arms, legs, or feet, it may be useful to see a neurologist to determine the cause.
  • Epilepsy: If you suffer from epileptic seizures, a neurologist can help identify the cause and suggest appropriate treatment options.
  • Stroke: If you had a stroke or have signs of a stroke, you should seek immediate medical attention and then consult a neurologist.
  • Parkinson’s disease: If you are experiencing symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, or slow movements that could indicate Parkinson’s disease, it may be useful to see a neurologist.
  • Multiple sclerosis: If you are experiencing symptoms such as vision problems, coordination issues, or weakness that could be an indications multiple sclerosis, it may be useful to see a neurologist.
What does a neurologist do?

Through a detailed discussion of the symptoms (medical history), the neurologist gets a first idea about a patient’s potential conditions. During the clinical neurological examination from head to toe, the neurologist pays attention to external symptoms and tests the nerve reflexes. They also observe the gait and posture and determine if there is a disturbance in the balance function. The examination also serves to detect changes in the skin and muscles and the consequences of injuries (such as falls).

The human body has 12 cranial nerves. In case of brain disorders, injuries or inflammations, the function of these nerves can be impaired. Since each cranial nerve has a specific task, this can be tested through functional tests (smelling, tasting, seeing, hearing, facial muscles…). As part of a neurological examination, the doctor also regularly tests mental and emotional functions and performs a memory test if abnormalities are detected.

Further diagnostic tests can be conducted depending on the initial findings. These may include laboratory tests on blood and urine tests, as well as possibly a lumbar puncture to obtain cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal canal.

  • NLG: Measurement of nerve conduction velocity
  • EEG: Examination of brain waves (electroencephalography)
  • EMG: Measurement of muscle activity (electromyography)
  • Evoked potentials: Measurement of the brain’s activity in response to sensory stimuli throughout the body.
  • Doppler and Duplex sonography: Ultrasound examinations of vessels and the brain
  • CT, MRI, PET: Additional imaging techniques for the brain
  • Dementia testing: Examination to assess cognitive abilities and memory, used to diagnose or rule out dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

After conducting the necessary tests in each individual case, one of the neurological diseases mentioned above can usually be diagnosed as the cause.

If, for example, a cerebral circulation disorder (stroke) is identified as the cause, then in further treatment (usually medication), regular monitoring of risk factors and cerebral vessels (ultrasound) is also necessary.

The same applies if, for example, multiple sclerosis is identified as the cause of the symptoms. After initiating acute therapy, regular clinical and imaging follow-up checks and preventive further treatment are necessary.

What does neurology deal with?

Neurology is a medical field that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system. The nervous system consists of the brain, the spinal cord, the peripheral nerves, and the muscles. Neurologists are medical professionals who are specialized in the examination and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.

Some of the disorders that neurology deals with include:

  • Stroke
  • Headaches
  • Migraine
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cerebrovascular diseases
  • Back pain and other disorders of the spinal cord
  • Infection-related diseases of the nervous system

Neurologists conduct a comprehensive neurological examination to identify the cause of symptoms and plan appropriate treatment. This may involve the use of imaging techniques such as CT or MRI scans as well as electroencephalograms (EEGs) or nerve conduction studies.

Neurology also plays an important role in researching the brain and nervous system, with the aim of improving the understanding of neurological disorders and developing better treatment options.

How are neurological diseases diagnosed?

Neurological diagnosis is mainly based on a detailed medical history and neurological examination, which can often accurately localize disorders in the brain or spinal cord.

To diagnose neurological diseases, the neurologist can perform various procedures. The most important diagnostic methods in neurology are imaging techniques such as MRI and CT. They show changes in the central nervous system, tumors, and bleeding. In addition, examinations of the functionality of sensory pathways are possible. These include VEP, AEP, and SEP tests, which examine the patient’s visual, auditory, and sensory pathways.

Laboratory tests are important in diagnosing pathogen-related diseases of the nervous system and multiple sclerosis. Additional examinations such as ultrasound, EEG, neurography, MRI, and tissue samples may be necessary in many cases to make a more accurate diagnosis.

What is Neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is the study of the relationship between brain functions and behavior. It investigates how the brain works and how behavioral and cognitive patterns are influenced by brain damage or diseases. Neuropsychology also examines how people process perceptions, memory, language, emotional processes, and motor skills. Research in this field aims to improve the understanding of normal brain functions and the pathophysiology of brain diseases, and to develop better diagnostic and therapeutic options based on this understanding.

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