Neurology is a branch of medicine which deals with diagnosing and treating disorders of the nervous system. It includes all categories of diseases involving the central & peripheral nervous system. A neurologist is a non-surgical clinician who is specialised in neurology to investigate, diagnose & treat neurological disorders.
Investigations Begin With Patient History!
Evaluating and diagnosing clinical conditions related to the nervous system is too complicated and complex. The best neurology hospital in Bangalore follows a clear-cut protocol to treat people with neurological conditions. Most of the same symptoms appear in different combinations among the different disorders.
Many disorders don’t have well-defined causes, markers, or tests, making diagnosis even harder. Initially, the physician starts with a complete medical history and uses the appropriate tests to conclude with a diagnosis.
An Array of Tests for A Differential Diagnosis
- Laboratory tests are initially done to diagnose disease, understand disease severity, and monitor activity levels of therapeutic drugs. Few blood tests also provide evidence for infections, toxins, clotting disorders, or antibodies that signal the presence of an autoimmune disease.
- Genetic testing of patients with a family history of a neurological disease can determine if they are carrying one of the genes responsible for causing the disorder. Performing prenatal genetic tests can identify many neurological disorders and genetic abnormalities while the child is inside the mother’s womb.
- Cerebrospinal fluid analysis is done by the removal of a small amount of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
- Myelography involves the injection of contrast dye into the spinal canal to enhance imaging of the spine, by CT or by X-ray, but it is replaced by MRI in special situations.
- Electroencephalography, or EEG, monitors the brain’s electrical activity through the skull and assists to diagnose seizure disorders and metabolic, infectious, or inflammatory disorders that affect the brain’s activity.
- Electromyography records the electrical activity in the muscles. The best neurology hospital in Bangalore has the best Electromyography facilities to treat neurological disorders.
- Nerve conduction study (NCS) measures the nerve’s ability to send a signal, its speed (nerve conduction velocity), and size.
- Evoked potentials, also called evoked responses, involve measuring the brain’s electrical signals, monitoring brain activity among coma patients, and confirming brain death.
Imaging – Evident Impressions Enable Efficient Lines Of Treatment
Imaging techniques are used to diagnose many conditions, such as tumours, blood vessel malformations, stroke, head injuries, abnormal brain development, and haemorrhage in the brain. Types of imaging methods or modalities include computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission (SPECT) & ultrasound.
CT scan makes use of X-rays to produce two-dimensional images of organs, bones, and tissues. It can be used to detect haemorrhage in the brain quickly and determine if someone has a stroke and if they can safely receive intravenous treatment to dissolve clots.
MRI combines the application of computer-generated radio waves and a powerful magnetic field to produce high-resolution images of body tissues. MRI is used to diagnose the cause of stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain and spinal cord malignancies, inflammation, infection, vascular irregularities, brain damage associated with epilepsy, abnormally developed brain regions, and some neurodegenerative disorders, multiple sclerosis, etc.
A fetal MRI is ordered for further evaluation when a prenatal ultrasound reveals a possible problem with a fetus.
Functional MRI (fMRI) produces real-time information of blood flow by exploiting its magnetic properties. It aids in the localisation of brain regions for language, motor function, or sensation prior to surgery for epilepsy.
PET scans generate 2D & 3D images of brain activity by measuring radioactive isotopes that are injected into the bloodstream & used to detect or highlight tumours and diseased tissue, show blood flow, and measure cellular and/or tissue metabolism.
SPECT is a nuclear imaging test that can be used to analyse certain brain functions.
Ultrasound imaging, especially in newborns, helps to diagnose hydrocephalus (build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain) or haemorrhage. Transcranial Doppler ultrasound is used to see blood flow in certain arteries and blood vessels inside the skull. Carotid doppler is used to study flow in carotid arteries to assess the risk of stroke.
Biopsy under image guidance involves the removal and examination of a small piece of tissue from the body for any histopathological evaluation.
Everything You Need to Know About Stroke
Stroke is a critical condition when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds, or when there’s an obstruction in the blood supply to the brain. Without oxygen, brain cells and surrounding tissue become damaged and begin to die within minutes. So, understanding its symptoms and taking quick actions is mandatory. So, a mnemonic FAST (Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, and Time) has been used by the National Stroke Association.
Mental Health & ongoing Research
Certain disorders often have psychiatric manifestations, such as poststroke depression, depression, and dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease, mood, and cognitive dysfunctions in Alzheimer’s disease.