The role of a neurologist is to evaluate, diagnose and manage brain injuries. They do this by assessing memory, thinking, motor function, and sensory functions like vision, hearing, and balance.
Treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI) involves medication, surgery, and rehabilitation. Some patients require long-term care.
Symptom assessment is a key part of managing brain injuries. It helps the neurologist determine what is causing the symptoms, how severe they are, and whether you need treatment.
The neurologist will test your reflexes and coordination during the examination, such as those at Integrated Brain Centers. To check your sensitivity to pain or touch, they might tap your legs and arms with a hammer or use a tuning fork, a blunt needle, or alcohol swabs.
You may also have your vision and hearing checked. Your neurologist will use these tools to help them diagnose problems with your nerves that control your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, face, tongue, and upper shoulders.
Your neurologist also assesses your cerebellar function (the nerves that control balance and coordination) by looking at your gait. If your movement is abnormal, you could have a problem, such as multiple sclerosis or Huntington’s disease. This can cause you to become confused, lose balance, and need help walking or talking.
A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in brain injuries. They must graduate from medical school and complete a residency in internal medicine before they can become a neurologist.
Diagnosing a brain injury involves assessing symptoms and testing to determine the cause. These tests may include blood work, X-rays, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans.
Diagnosis can be important because it can lead to timely treatment for the condition. For example, a stroke diagnosis can help patients receive immediate treatment to prevent or slow the development of disability and death.
The role of a neurologist is to treat diseases and disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord (the central nervous system), and nerves. This includes conditions like seizures, pain, and movement disorders like tremors or Parkinson’s disease.
A neurologist may prescribe medications, physical therapy, or other treatments to manage symptoms. They may also order tests to help with diagnosis.
Your neurologist will discuss your medical history and symptoms, such as how long they occurred, their severity, and what caused them. They might also do a neurological examination and test your brain function using tests such as an electroencephalogram or electromyogram.
Your neurologist might also recommend anti-seizure drugs during the first week after your injury to prevent further brain damage from seizures. These drugs are especially important if the blood vessels in your head are compressed by bleeding outside or within the brain. They may be given intravenously or through an infusion.
Managing brain injuries depends on a neurologist’s expertise in diagnosing and treating symptoms of brain injuries. They work to help a patient recover from their injury and improve their quality of life so that they can lead normal, independent lives again.
Neurologists use a variety of tests to examine how well your brain works. These include coordination and motor skills tests, sensation, cranial nerves, the autonomic nervous system, and cognitive ability.
A neurologist may also use devices to monitor the blood pressure in the brain if needed. This helps prevent brain swelling and fluid buildup.
Patients with a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion may need follow-up care from a medical practitioner after discharge. However, less than half of patients self-reported receiving TBI educational material at discharge or seeing a medical practitioner within two weeks or three months after their mTBI.