A doctor who has a specialization in treating the diseases of the nervous system is a Neurologist. The nervous system contains two parts.
- The brain and the spinal cord are both in the Central Nervous System(CNS)
- all the nerves outside the CNS are in the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
Illnesses or disorders that involve the nervous system require treatment by a neurologist. A practicing doctor may refer you to a neurologist if you show signs of a neurological problem.
The Neurologist helps diagnose problems like Alzheimer’s disease, migraine, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and concussion.
What does a Neurologist do?
The neurological conditions are treated and managed by a neurologist. Symptoms that require you to visit a neurologist include:
- Coordination Problems
- Muscle Weakness
- A Change In Sensation
Also, those with problems in their senses, such as touch, vision, or smell, should visit a neurologist.
A neurologist also treats patients with the following problems:
- Epilepsy (Seizure Disorders)
- Neuromuscular Disorders
- Encephalitis, Meningitis, Or Brain Abscesses (Infections Of The Nervous System)
- Neurodegenerative Disorders, like Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Spinal Cord Disorders
- Headaches (Cluster Headaches And Migraine)
- The surgeries, including the nervous system, are performed by neurosurgeons. A neurologist is the one who diagnoses and manages the illness and disorders.
Common reasons for you to visit a Neurologist:
The following are some of the common symptoms which should be brought to the notice of a neurologist:
- Chronic or Severe Headaches
- Chronic Pain
- Numbness or Tingling
- Movement Problems
- Memory Problems
- Change in Personality
- Sleep problems
- Sudden trouble in speaking
What to expect from the Neurologist?
Neurologists identify the cause of symptoms and then create a treatment plan for them. They perform different tests to diagnose the condition. During the Neurological exam, the Neurologist may use instruments like lights and a reflex hammer.
Some of the procedures used are:
Lumbar puncture: It is done to test the spinal fluid. The neurologists recommend it when they believe that the problem can be detected in the fluid. In this test, the doctor numbs your back and takes the spinal fluid with a needle. They then check it for bleeding, infection, and other disorders.
Tensilon Test: Edrophonium is the drug to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates muscle movement and tension. It is the name of the brand of this drug. This test helps a neurologist diagnose myasthenia gravis. They observe how the drug affects your muscle movements. Myasthenia gravis weakens the muscles in the arms and legs. It is a rare neuromuscular disease.
MRI: Magnetic fields and radio waves are used to take pictures of the inner brain during an MRI. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Electromyography (EMG): In the EMG test, electrical activity in the muscles and nerves is tracked to find the cause of pain, numbness, and weakness. It is done by inserting small needles into the muscles to test activity. Mild shocks are delivered on the body to record the nerve activity.
Electroencephalogram (EEG): The EEG test does not cause any discomfort like the EMG. In this test, electrodes are applied to the scalp; the test measures the electrical activity in the brain. It helps diagnose conditions of the brain, including inflammation, tumors, and injuries, as well as seizures and psychiatric disorders.
Transcranial Doppler (TCD): It measures the blood flow in the brain by using sound waves with an ultrasound probe placed on the head.
Other tests may include:
- Imaging Tests, like Ultrasound, CT scan, and Pet Scan
- Genetic Testing
Education and training to become a neurologist
If you want to become a neurologist in Mumbai, India, you must complete a 5½ years MBBS degree then a 2- 3 years MD (Medicine) / DNB course. After completing the Master’s degree, you must do DM (Neurology) to have your specialization in the field of Neurology.
Subspecialties of a Neurologist
Because of the complexity of the nervous system, neurologists may specialize in a specific field. They are required to do a fellowship in the area after the residency.
Some examples of subspecialties include:
- Headache Medicine
- Neuro-Critical Care
- Neuromuscular Medicine
- Intervention Neuroradiology
- Geriatric Neurology
- Vascular (Stroke Care)
- Autonomic Disorders
- Child Neurology
Earnings: Neurologists in Mumbai, India, receive an annual salary in the range of ₹ 1.1 lakhs to ₹ 92.8 lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 15.0 lakhs. If you have neurological ailments, consult a neurologist without delay. Neurologists in Mumbai and other parts of the country can diagnose your problems and give the best treatment.