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Neurology is the clinical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and management of diseases that affect the nervous system. Nervous system disorders include illnesses that affect the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles.
The common nervous system disorders affecting the brain include
- Parkinson’s disease
- multiple sclerosis
- Diseases affecting the spinal cord include spinal cord tumours and spinal cord compression
- Peripheral nervous system problems include the neuropathies and myopathies
- Disorders of the neuromuscular junction (myasthenia)
Symptoms of neurological illness include poor memory, blackouts, dizziness, headache, speech problems, back pain, sciatica, limb weakness and numbness, tremor and bladder problems.
Using a careful neurological history and detailed neurological examination along with appropriate specialised investigations, the neurologist attempts to identify the site of the neurological disturbance and its likely cause. If a patient requires surgery, the neurologist will refer the patient to a neurosurgeon. The neurologist will advise on the medical management of the neurological disease.
Neurophysiology involves testing the electrical functions of the brain, spinal cord and the nerves in the limbs and muscles. Two ways in which we do this at London Bridge Hospital are Electromyography and Electro-encephalography.
Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Studies (EMG & NCS)
These tests evaluate the function of the peripheral nervous system. They are particularly useful in such areas of neurophysiology as carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar neuropathy, nerve injuries, peripheral neuropathy and Guillain Barre Syndrome. They also provide confirmatory evidence of nerve root lesions (cervical and lumbar radiculopathy) and muscle disorders.
This test assesses brain function and is most helpful in the diagnosis of such common neurophysiology disorders as epilepsy, dementia, coma patients and for checking brain function following head injury and cerebral hypoxia.