A Neurologist is a doctor of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles. You are most likely to see a neurologist after being referred by your primary care provider or after having been in
the emergency room for one of the following conditions:
1. Stroke. “In the last two months, 80 percent of the patients I treated in the hospital were for stroke,” said Ramsis Benjamin, MD, a neurologist at Salem Health Medical Clinic on 12th Street in Salem. People have a hundred billion neurons, he noted, but lose 1.2 million of them for every hour treatment for stroke is delayed. “If you experience stroke symptoms—slurred speech, blurry vision, numbness—call 911 immediately and get to the ER,” he said. “Treatment works best within three hours of onset.”
2. Dementia. According to Dr. Benjamin, memory loss naturally begins around age 40. By age 65, 5 percent of
the population has dementia and by age 85, 50 percent. “Dementia encompasses short-term memory loss, behavior and speech changes,” he said. “If your loved one is hoarding, acting strangely, obsessing about neighbors, or not recognizing family members, then it is time to seek help.”
3. Migraines. If your pain starts on one side, throbs and pulsates and delivers severe pressure along with nausea, light sensitivity, “seeing stars,” and muscle tension, you may have a migraine disorder.
Do not go off medication(s) without first consulting with your doctor.
4. Seizures. According to Dr. Benjamin, 3 percent of the population experiences seizures, which are most frequently a byproduct of a stroke leaving scar tissue on the brain. Seizures can also be caused by brain tumors and infections such as meningitis. Generalized epilepsy is present in 1 percent of the population.
5. Nerve pain. More than 100 different types of peripheral nerve injuries (neuropathy) have been identified. Neuropathy can be characterized by a burning sensation or stabbing pain, or quite the opposite, a numb feeling or no feeling at all.
More than 60 percent of people with diabetes have neuropathy, said Dr. Benjamin. Carpel tunnel syndrome is another common nerve entrapment disorder.
Neurologists work to understand how structures of the brain impact functions. They use electrodes in muscles,
a needle in the spine, and nerve studies to diagnose conditions. Most conditions can be treated by medication. If you are experiencing any of these conditions, please consult your doctor, or with stroke, call 911.
Article provided by:
Regional Rehabilitation Center