Neurology is a branch of medicine focused on the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.
The nervous system has two major divisions:
- The central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord
- The peripheral nervous system, which includes the nerves and sensory organs found outside of the central nervous system
A medical doctor that specializes in neurology is called a neurologist. Neurologists treat people who have injuries, diseases, or disorders of the central or peripheral nervous system.
Neurologists treat people with brain or spinal cord injuries, diseases, or conditions, such as:
- Blood vessel disorders in the brain or spinal cord, such as aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVM), and dural arteriovenous fistulae
- Brain injury, including anoxic injury or traumatic brain injury
- Brain tumors, both benign and cancerous
- Degenerative disorders (disorders that get worse over time) such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s chorea, and Alzheimer’s disease
- Functional disorders, such as headache, seizure disorder, dizziness, balance disorders, and neuralgia
- Infections, such as meningitis, encephalitis, polio, and brain abscesses
- Movement disorders, such as dyskinesia and essential tremor
- Neuromuscular disorders, such as Bell’s palsy, cervical spondylosis, peripheral neuropathy, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Stroke disorders such as ischemic strokes (caused by blood clots), hemorrhagic strokes (caused by bleeding in the brain), and transient ischemic attacks (TIA or “mini-stroke”)
If you have experienced a brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerve injury, or you have a disease or condition affecting the brain, spine, or peripheral nervous system, you may need to see a neurologist. The status of your injury, disease, or condition will help you, your neurologist, and your other specialists make decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
Information and Resources
- Date of last review: July 18, 2017