What is a neurologist?
A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system.
A neurologist's educational background and medical training includes an undergraduate degree, four years of medical school, a one-year internship and three years of specialized training.
Many neurologists also have additional training in one area of neurology such as stroke, epilepsy or movement disorders.
What is the role of a neurologist?
Neurologists are principal care providers or consultants to other physicians. If you have a neurological disorder that requires frequent care, a neurologist is often the principal care provider. Patients with disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease or multiple sclerosis may see a neurologist as their principal care physician.
In a consulting role, a neurologist diagnoses and treats a neurological disorder and then advises the primary care physician managing the patient's overall health. For example, a neurologist would act in a consulting role for conditions such as stroke, concussion or headache.
Neurologists can recommend surgical treatment, but they do not perform surgery. When treatment includes surgery, neurologists monitor surgically treated patients and supervise their continuing treatment. Neurosurgeons are medical doctors who specialize in performing surgical treatments of the brain or nervous system.
What does a neurologist treat?
Neurologists treat disorders of the nervous system, brain, spinal cord, nerves, muscles and pain. Common neurological disorders include:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Sleep disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Brain tumors
- Peripheral nerve disorders
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis