Every single thing that you feel, smell, hear, see, or think is a result of the incredible workings of your nervous system.
Neurology is a subspecialty of medicine that diagnoses and treats conditions and disease within the nervous system.
Common neurological problems include:
- Memory problems
- Migraine related headaches
- Muscle weakness
- Movement disorders
A neurologist is a physician that is trained to investigate, diagnose, and treat neurological disorders without performing surgery. If surgery is required for condition then a neurosurgeon would be consulted.
It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 adults will be evaluated by a neurologist. If there is any question whether you should be evaluated by a neurologist, your primary care physician should help you in making that decision.
What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a medical term that basically means that “the nerves are sick”. Neuropathy typically starts in the bottom of the feet with a tingling sensation. Generally, as the neuropathy will progress, the tingling will become a stinging or even a burning discomfort which will slowly ascend towards the knees becoming much more uncomfortable over time.
There are many causes of neuropathy, but poorly controlled diabetes is the most common reason. Metabolic disorders, exposure to heavy metals, industrial solvents, pesticides, and other chemicals may also cause neuropathy.
If you feel you may have this condition, ask your primary care physician if they feel testing or referral to neurology is indicated. Neuropathy is a treatable condition. There is no need for a person with neuropathy to suffer.
The most frequent neurology related complaint is headache. The most common headaches are tension-type headaches which over 90% of the adult population experiences
However, if headaches are accompanied by visual changes, dizziness, vomiting, weakness or incapacitation then headaches may be associated with a migraine syndrome. Potentially, these types of headaches may cause injury in the brain.
Therefore, severe headaches or migraine related headaches should be evaluated and treated aggressively. Uncontrolled migraine headaches increase a person’s possibility of experiencing a stroke. Utilizing nonprescription headache remedies, especially the over-the-counter remedies that contain caffeine, raw aspirin, and acetaminophen quite often make headache activity worse and may lead to kidney or stomach damage.
Most migraine related to headache conditions can be safely and effectively treated even at these headaches occur every day. There are new, safe, and wonderfully effective medicines available that can quickly ease the burden of headache discomfort.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a condition where there is long-term decrease in brain function. Dementia can be caused by many factors which are not always hereditary.
Dementia is not a function of aging, but rather the function of the disease process over an extended period of time. Therefore, it may be incorrect to assume a person is going to have memory impairment because of their advanced age.
Alzheimer’s type dementia is a genetic disorder and is the third most common cause of memory impairment or change in behavior. Vascular dementia, the most common form of dementia is generally caused by high blood pressure, strokes, and have abnormal cholesterol/lipid levels is responsible for half of all dementia in this country. Change in behavior is often seen before a patient with dementia experiences memory problems. This is important to know because the earlier dementia is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.
The NCV/EMG study is about 90% accurate in providing a correct diagnosis. This is an extremely valuable and accurate test that will assist you and your doctor in determining an accurate diagnosis.
What is an NCV/EMG test?
A nerve conduction velocity / electromyography study (NCV/EMG) is a medical diagnostic test that is used to determine if there is an abnormality in the nerves and the muscles studied. This is a simple procedure that takes approximately 20 minutes to perform.
The examination is performed in two parts. Initially, 12 volts shocks are used to test the pathways of nerves. The shocks are irritating, but not frankly painful. The second portion of the examination is to use a small electrode into the studied muscles to watch and listen to the electrical activity of the muscle fibers.
Before the Test
If you are scheduled for an NCV/EMG please do not use any creams, oils, or lotions on the areas to be tested as this may interfere with the nerve conduction velocity readings. The discomfort associated with the EMG portion of the test is minimal and not lasting.