Neurology (from , "string, nerve" and the suffix wiktionary:-logia, "study of") is a branch of specialty (medicine) dealing with neurological disorder. Neurology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of conditions and disease involving the Central nervous system and peripheral nervous systems (and their subdivisions, the autonomic nervous system and somatic nervous systems), including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue, such as muscle.
A large number of neurological disorders have been described as List of neurological disorders. These can affect the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), the peripheral nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, and the muscular system.
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or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (US), M.B.B.S. (UK), M.B. B.Ch. B.A.O. (Republic of Ireland) Many neurologists also have additional training or interest in one area of neurology, such as stroke, epilepsy, neuromuscular, sleep medicine, pain management, or movement disorders.
In the United States and Canada, neurologists are physicians having completed postgraduate training in neurology after graduation from medical school. Neurologists complete, on average, about 8 years of medical college education and clinical training, which includes obtaining a four-year undergraduate degree, a medical degree (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or Doctor of Medicine), which comprises an additional four years of study, then completing one year of basic clinical training and four years of Residency (medicine). The four-year residency consists of one year of internal medicine internship training followed by three years of training in neurology.
Some neurologists receive additional subspecialty training focusing on a particular area of the field. These training programs are called Fellowship (medicine), and are one to two years in duration. Subspecialties include brain injury medicine, clinical neurophysiology, epilepsy, hospice and palliative medicine, neurodevelopmental disabilities, neuromuscular medicine, pain medicine, sleep medicine, neurocritical care, vascular neurology (stroke), behavioral neurology, child neurology, headache, multiple sclerosis, neuroimaging, neurorehabilitation.
In Germany, a compulsory year of psychiatry must be done to complete a residency of neurology.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, neurology is a subspecialty of general (internal) medicine. After five to nine years of medical school and a year as a preregistration house officer (or two years on the Foundation Programme), a neurologist must pass the examination for Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (or the Irish equivalent) before completing two years of core medical training and then entering specialist training in neurology. A generation ago, some neurologists would have also spent a couple of years working in psychiatric units and obtain a diploma in psychological medicine. However, this requirement has become uncommon, and, now that a basic psychiatric qualification takes three years to obtain, the requirement is no longer practical. A period of research is essential, and obtaining a higher degree aids career progression. Many found it was eased after an attachment to the Institute of Neurology at Queen Square, London, London. Some neurologists enter the field of rehabilitation medicine (known as physiatry in the US) to specialise in neurological rehabilitation, which may include stroke medicine, as well as brain injuries.
Neurologists examine patients who are referred to them by other physicians in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Neurologists begin their interactions with patients by taking a comprehensive medical history, and then performing a physical examination focusing on evaluating the nervous system. Components of the neurological examination include assessment of the patient's cognitive function, cranial nerves, motor strength, Sensory nervous system, reflexes, Motor coordination, and gait.
In some instances, neurologists may order additional diagnostic tests as part of the evaluation. Commonly employed tests in neurology include imaging studies such as computed axial tomography (CAT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound of major blood vessels of the head and neck. Neurophysiologic studies, including electroencephalography (EEG), needle electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies (NCSs) and evoked potentials are also commonly ordered. Neurologists frequently perform lumbar punctures to assess characteristics of a patient's cerebrospinal fluid. Advances in genetic testing have made genetic testing an important tool in the classification of inherited neuromuscular disease and diagnosis of many other neurogenetic diseases. The role of genetic influences on the development of acquired neurologic diseases is an active area of research.
Some of the commonly encountered conditions treated by neurologists include headaches, radiculopathy, neuropathy, stroke, dementia, seizures and epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Neurosurgery is a distinct specialty that involves a different training path, and emphasizes the surgical treatment of neurological disorders.
Also, many nonmedical doctors, those with doctoral degrees(usually PhDs) in subjects such as biology and chemistry, study and research the nervous system. Working in laboratories in universities, hospitals, and private companies, these neuroscientists perform clinical and laboratory experiments and tests to learn more about the nervous system and find cures or new treatments for diseases and disorders.
A great deal of overlap occurs between neuroscience and neurology. Many neurologists work in academic training hospitals, where they conduct research as neuroscientists in addition to treating patients and teaching neurology to medical students.
Clinical neuropsychology are often called upon to Neuropsychological assessment brain-Human behavior relationships for the purpose of assisting with differential diagnosis, planning Physical medicine and rehabilitation strategies, documenting cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and measuring change over time (e.g., for identifying abnormal aging or tracking the progression of a dementia).