What is a Neurologist?
A neurologist is a highly trained doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the brain, nerves, and spinal cord. Migraines, epilepsy, stroke, tumors, cancer, infections, trauma, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease are among the most common conditions treated by neurologists. Pediatric neurologists specialize in brain, nerve, and spinal issues in babies and children.
In addition to medical school, neurologists complete a one-year internship and at least three years of specialized training in a residency program. They often pursue additional education in subspecialties, such as strokes, epilepsy, or pain management.
What you can expect at UTHealth Neurosciences
UTHealth Neurosciences brings together a multidisciplinary team of board-certified, fellowship-trained neuro-ophthalmologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, researchers, and pain management specialists who works to help provide relief for even the most complex problems. Your team will share insights, leading to better treatment decisions and outcomes.
We first investigate nonsurgical treatment options, including medical management, pain management, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and watchful waiting. When surgery is needed, our neurosurgeons routinely employ innovative minimally invasive techniques. Throughout the treatment process, we will work closely with the doctor who referred you to ensure a smooth transition back to your regular care. While you are with us, you will receive expert care, excellent communication, and genuine compassion.
When to see a Neurologist
You might be referred to a neurologist for pain, headaches, dizziness, weakness, numbness, vision problems, memory problems, or speech problems. Neurologists see patients experiencing migraines, seizures, coordination problems, and other sensory issues. They often treat patients with diabetes who experience nerve damage that might cause sharp or shooting pain. Serious memory loss would also be a reason to see a neurologist.
What to expect during a visit to a Neurologist
You will undergo both a physical exam and a neurological exam, which could include tests of vision, speech, strength, coordination, reflexes, and mental status. Imaging tests, including CT, MRI, or PET scans, may be conducted to check brain function. Other diagnostic tests, such as EEGs, lumbar punctures, and nerve conduction studies, might also be used to help to make a diagnosis. Blood and urine tests may be used to check for infection. Patients are encouraged to write down their symptoms and questions ahead of the visit.
Treatments by Neurologists
Unlike a neurosurgeon, neurologists don’t perform brain or spinal cord surgery, but they may be in the operating room to consult during the procedure. They prescribe a range of medications to treat symptoms, use rehabilitation therapies, and perform minimally invasive procedures, such as repairing blood vessels in the brain. Neurologists can use lumbar punctures to inject antibiotics, anesthetics, or cancer treatments into the spinal cord.
At UTHealth Neurosciences, we offer patients access to specialized neurological care at clinics across the greater Houston area. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.