Neurology is the medical specialty concentrating on the medical diagnosis and treatment of disorders that affect the brain and nerve system, and also the spine, blood vessels, muscles, and nerves. These problems are treated by physicians in 2 important specialties: neurology services and neurosurgery.
Each professional deals with people with health conditions and injuries associated with the nerve system. So why is there a distinction between neurologist vs. neurosurgeon? This guide will discuss the differences and resemblances between the 2.
What Is a Neurologist?
According to the American Academy of Neurology, a neurologist is a health doctor who focuses on the medical diagnosis, medical treatment, and management of brain and nerve system conditions. Neurologists use diagnostic testings like electroencephalograms (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computer-assisted tomography (CAT) scans to determine neurological problems. Neurologists may specialize in the treatment of neurodevelopmental conditions, learning disabilities, pain management, and other chronic problems.
If you or a loved one has a neurological problem that demands regular care, a neurologist will typically be your prime health care provider. A neurologist can also deal with your neurological condition, and then recommend or consult your primary care or internal medicine doctor and other physicians to help manage your overall health.
What Conditions Do Neurologists Treat?
Typical neurological conditions that a neurologist may treat consist of headaches, sleep disorders, tremors, epilepsy, brain and spine injuries, brain tumors, strokes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and peripheral nerve problems.
What Is a Neurosurgeon?
According to the American College of Surgeons, a neurosurgeon is a health care doctor who detects and treats disorders of the brain, spine, and nerve system through surgical and nonsurgical treatments based upon the kind of injury or illness. Because of their comprehensive training in the medical diagnosis of neurological diseases, neurosurgeons are frequently sought by other physicians-- emergency clinic doctors, neurologists, internists, and family doctors-- for consultations.
What Conditions Do Neurosurgeons Treat?
Neurosurgeons are taught to treat individuals with injury to the brain and spine, aneurysms, clogged arteries, severe low-back pain, birth defects, tumors in the brain and spine, and peripheral nerve problems. Neurosurgeons also carry out surgeries for carpal tunnel syndrome, brain and spinal tumor extraction surgery, and spine surgery. They also treat conditions not needing surgery like Parkinson's disease or low-back ache, according to the Oregon Health & Science University.
Neurologist vs. Neurosurgeon
There are significant differences when comparing neurologists and neurosurgeons. When it comes down to medical management, even so, there is also considerable overlap between the two.
Neurosurgery is closely connected with neurology in that both need specialized knowledge of the nerve system and its functions. Both neurosurgeons and neurologists may execute complex neurological examinations like EEG, MRI, and CT scans to observe the brain, and both may use minimally invasive procedures to fix blood vessels within the brain.
While both neurologists and neurosurgeons diagnose and treat health conditions that include the nerve system, neurologists don't carry out the surgery. Neurologists are focused on finding diagnosis-specific neurological problems that can be fixed-- via medicines or other therapies-- or need close management. Nevertheless, if your diagnosis reveals a physical cause for a neurological disorder, a neurologist may make a recommendation to a neurosurgeon if surgery is required to remove or fix the condition to improve your outcome.
If you have a nerve, spinal, or brain problem, speak with your health care doctor. Your doctor may give you a referral to visit a neurologist or a neurosurgeon depending on your condition.
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