· Neurologists examine patients suffering from neurological disorders, such as seizure disorders, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease.
· The physician may work with primary care physicians on a consulting basis when a patient has symptoms that suggest a neurological issue.
· Examinations for neurological patients may include a series of questions to determine the cognitive abilities of the patient.
· A cognitive abilities examination includes mathematic problems, memory tests and questions to determine the patient’s mood and language abilities.
· Examinations also test the patient’s cranial nerve function, motor skills and sensory system by asking the patient to perform activities.
· In addition to a patient examination, neurologists order diagnostic tests to identify neurological disorders. The doctor may order blood tests and analysis of the patient’s spinal fluid.
· Imaging tests include magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography.
· Neurologists may also order a biopsy and other diagnostic tests -- such as electroencephalography, or EEG to detect and identify neurological and central nervous system disorders.
· Neurologists develop a treatment plan for patients after diagnosing a disorder or condition. For example, treatments such as anti-epileptic medications help patients with epilepsy.
· Physicians may also recommend surgical procedures for neurological patients, such as brain stimulation. Neurosurgeons, not neurologists, perform surgical procedures, but neurologists consult with surgeons on the procedures and treatment. Doctors monitor the patient’s progress during treatment to determine its effectiveness.