Neurology is the study and treatment of diseases of the nervous system. The nervous system is the body tissue that records and distributes information in the body using electrical and chemical transmission. It has two parts:
- The “central” nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.
- The “peripheral” nervous system (PNS), which is the nerve tissue that transmits sensation and motor information back and forth from the body to the central nervous system.
Neurologists are physicians whose interests and practice are devoted to the care of patients with disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems. For example, neurologists diagnose and treat disorders such as these:
- Disorders of the brain (strokes, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis)
- Disorders of the spinal cord (traumatic injury and inflammatory disorders)
- Motor neuron disorders (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
- Neuromuscular junction disorders (myasthenia gravis)
- Peripheral nerve disorders (peripheral neuropathies).
We are fortunate to live in a time when the study of neurology makes tremendous advances on an almost daily basis. Today, neurologists are now able to stop seizures, prevent or reduce the damage from strokes, improve the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis, prolong useful function in Alzheimer’s disease patients, provide relief for painful neuropathies, and help prevent debilitating migraines. Researchers are actively engaged in the development of new and powerful diagnostic techniques and treatments to help the growing number of patients suffering from diseases of the nervous system.