Neurology is the branch of medicine responsible for the study of the nervous system . It is a very complex area of knowledge , as it is the main system in charge of controlling the functioning of other systems, in addition to activities related to information processing and the relationship with its surroundings.
Neurology encompasses the study of the functioning of the nervous system, as well as the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of various diseases that affect adults and children.
The neurology specialist is the neurologist. It is generally an area that constitutes a subspecialty of internal medicine.
Main disorders studied in neurology
Vascular disorders . The most frequent neurological problems are related to changes in cerebral blood vessels. These cover disorders such as migraine, an important and common cause of headache, as well as stroke (cerebrovascular accident) that can occur due to a lack of oxygen in neurons, which corresponds to the obstruction or rupture of the arteries located within of the skull.
Epilepsy . Epilepsy and other types of seizures are disorders that abnormally activate specific areas of the brain , producing manifestations that mainly include the appearance of involuntary movements that may or may not be accompanied by changes in the state of consciousness .
Infections . Nervous system infections are serious disorders, as they can cause permanent damage. This type of infection is known as meningitis when it affects the membranes that line the nervous system; by meningoencephalitis when they involve structures such as the brain, cerebellum and brainstem; myelitis when it concerns the spinal cord and abscess when it comes to collections of pus.
Loss of mobility . Loss of the ability to perform movements is a problem that can occur due to certain disorders such as the onset of degenerative diseases, especially multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or the result of a stroke or traumatic injury.
Tumors . Nerve cells can also be affected by abnormal growth that leads to the development of malignant lesions such as cancer.
Main Neurology Tools
Neurology is one of the medical specialties where the clinical examination of the patient is of great value. A good physical examination is enough to make the diagnosis, thanks to the wealth of symptoms and manifestations that accompany nervous system diseases.
Once the symptoms are located, it is possible to confirm the suspicions by carrying out a series of tests that allow the assessment of both the anatomy and the function of the nervous system. These exams include:
Electroencephalogram. It is a record of electrical brain activity, used in the diagnosis of seizures and epilepsies.
Electromyography. This study allows us to assess the function of peripheral nerves.
Tomography. CT scans allow to obtain images of deep structures, are very useful to assess the skull bones and the presence of injuries such as fractures.
Magnetic resonance. This is perhaps the most used exam in neurology, it allows to obtain detailed images of the structures of the nervous system, being able to better assess the presence of tissue damage caused by cerebrovascular accidents, as well as infections, tumors and herniated discs.