Neurology & Internal Medicine

Physicians specializing in the field of neurology are called neurologists and are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage patients with neurological disorders.

Neurology is a medical specialty dealing with disorders of the nervous system. Specifically, it deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of disease involving the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems, including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effected tissue, such as muscles.

Neuro-Genetics

Neurogenetic diseases—inherited diseases of the nervous system—are being diagnosed in growing numbers among both children and adults, as a result of advances in biochemical and molecular genetics. Neurogenetic diseases typically require complex, lifelong healthcare management

Causes of Neurogenetics

Ataxia

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

Dystonias

Familial Parkinsonian diseases

Hereditary spastic paraparesis

Huntington’s disease

Leucodystrophies

Mitochondrial disorders

Myotonic muscle orders

Neurofibromatosis type I and type II

Von Hippel-Lindau disease

Neuroscience

Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary science that is concerned with the study of the structure and function of the nervous system. It encompasses the evolution, development, cellular and molecular biology, physiology, anatomy and pharmacology of the nervous system, as well as computational, behavioural and cognitive neuroscience.

Central Nervous System

The central nervous system is the processing center for the nervous system. It receives information from and sends information to the peripheral nervous system. The two main organs of the CNS are the brain and spinal cord. The brain processes and interprets sensory information sent from the spinal cord. Both the brain and spinal cord are protected by a three-layered covering of connective tissue called the meninges.

Neuro-Oncology

Tumors can develop in the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord. Patients with these tumor types are best treated in a multidisciplinary clinic setting. A team of neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, neuro-radiologists works on particular diseases. Cancer-related neurological disorders of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system are:

Acoustic neuromas

Astrocytomas

Brain tumors

Choroid plexus tumors

Craniopharyngiomas

Glioblastomas

Ependymomas

Meningiomas

Neoplastic meningitis

Neurologic complications of cancer

Oligodendrogliomas

Pineal gland tumors

Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphomas

Spinal cord tumors

Cannabis Advantages in Neurology

Cannabinoids have a role in the treatment of cancer as palliative interventions against nausea, vomiting, pain, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Cannabis is a plant that has recently gained a lot of attention, particularly within the medical community, regarding its potential medicinal benefits in treating various medical conditions. The plant is usually processed into an oil, which serves as a vehicle for ingestion, and there are various formulations depending on the condition being treated or medication’s intended effect. These include high CBD-low THC formulations and high THC formulations.

Women’s Neurology

Women’s Neurology details how to best care for women with neurological disorders. Many common conditions that affect the brain are more complicated to treat in women. As women’s health expands, hormones and reproductive concerns men don’t encounter can influence women’s neurological conditions and courses of treatment. This requires more time and expertise for study and treatment of women’s specific neurological conditions.

Research suggests:

20 percent of women suffer from migraines

Sleep disorders in women are often overlooked in primary care doctor’s offices

Hormones affect seizure frequency in 30 percent of women with epilepsy

Women are three times more likely than men to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

Medications used to treat neurological disorders may have significant impact on pregnancy and contraception effectiveness

Neuropsychiatry

Neuropsychiatry is an important branch of medical science. The field of neuropsychiatry aims to overcome the separation of neurology and psychiatry, which is reflected in a gap between the neurologist, searching for the underlying neuroanatomical basis of a disorder, and the psychiatrist, dipping into its phenomenology and underlying genetics. In science, neuropsychiatry supports the field of neuroscience and is used to better understand the neurological underpinnings of psychiatric and neurologic disorders and to examine the treatment and care of persons with neurological conditions, particularly those that affect behaviour. In medicine, neuropsychiatry forms part of a subspecialty known as behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry.

Sleep Disorders

A sleep disorder is a condition that frequently impacts your ability to get enough quality sleep. While it’s normal to occasionally experience difficulties sleeping, it’s not normal to regularly have problems getting to sleep at night, to wake up feeling exhausted, or to feel sleepy during the day.

The most important sleep disorders are:

Insomnia

Sleep apnea

Restless legs syndrome

Narcolepsy

Neurological Disorders

A neurological disorder is any disorder of the body nervous system. Structural, biochemical or electrical abnormalities in the brain, spinal cord or other nerves can result in a range of symptoms. Examples of symptoms include paralysis, muscle weakness, poor coordination, loss of sensation, seizures, confusion, pain and altered levels of consciousness.

Although many mental illnesses are believed to be neurological disorders affecting the central nervous system, traditionally they are classified separately, and treated by psychiatrists.

Neurological disorders include diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system such as,

the brain,

spinal cord,

cranial nerves,

peripheral nerves,

nerve roots,

autonomic nervous system,

neuromuscular junction,

muscles.

Pediatric Neurology

A child neurologist, or pediatric neurologist, is a doctor who treats children who have problems with their nervous system. Problems in the nervous system can start in the brain, spine, nerves, or muscles. These can lead to problems such as seizures, headaches, or developmental delays.

Child neurologists treat children from birth into young adulthood. They choose to make the care of children the core of their medical practice, and their advanced training and experience equip them to meet your child’s unique needs.

Neuro Surgery

Neurosurgery is a branch of surgery that treats conditions and diseases of the brain and nervous system. Neurosurgeons are not just brain surgeons, they are medically trained neurosurgical specialists who can also help patients suffering from back and neck pain as well as a host of other illnesses ranging from trigeminal neuralgia to head injury and Parkinson’s disease.

Here are some examples of the main types of conditions that neurosurgeons treat:

tumours of the brain, spine and skull

trauma to the head and spinal cord

degenerative spinal conditions and prolapsed discs

cerebral (brain) aneurysms and strokes

epilepsy

infections

movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease

certain psychiatric disorders

congenital conditions such as spina bifida

conditions that affect cerebro-spinal fluid flow such as hydrocephalus

pituitary tumours and neuroendocrine disorders

Neurological Diagnosis

Neurosurgeons use a variety of diagnostic tests to help identify the specific nature of neurological diseases, conditions or injuries. The results of these tests can help in planning an appropriate course of treatment.

Diagnostic tests used by neurosurgeons:

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Positron emission tomography (PET)

Arteriogram & Myelogram

Sonography

Dementia and Related Diseases

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—the ability to think, remember, problem solve or reason—to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.  No treatments currently exist to stop or slow dementia caused by neurodegenerative diseases or progressive dementias. Drugs such as donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine can temporarily improve or stabilize memory and thinking skills in some people. Dementia is not a single disease, but a set of symptoms and signs related to multiple diseases or brain injuries.

Types of Dementia and Memory Diseases:

Alzheimer’s disease

Dementia with Lewy bodies

Frontotemporal dementia

Laboratory and imaging tests:

Electroencephalogram

Genetic testing

MRI or CT scans of the brain

Positron emission tomography

Critical Care Neurology

Neurocritical care, focuses on protecting and treating the brains of critically ill and injured children. Critical or intensive care neurology refers to the care of patients with neurologic disorders who are critically ill and require management in an intensive care unit (ICU).  Most of these patients also have multiple other illnesses and have life-threatening neurologic conditions such as subarachnoid hemorrhage, Guillain-Barre (ghee-ON bar-RAY) syndrome, or recent brain surgery.

Neuroimmunology

Neuroimmunology is a field combining neuroscience, the study of the nervous system, and immunology, the study of the immune system. Neuroimmunologists seek to better understand the interactions of these two complex systems during development, homeostasis, and response to injuries. A long-term goal of this rapidly developing research area is to further develop our understanding of the pathology of certain neurological diseases, some of which have no clear etiology.

Neuro-Spine Surgery

Neurosurgery is a medical specialty that focuses on diagnosis and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment of disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. Neurosurgeons provide surgical or nonsurgical care for neurological disease or injury. Most spine surgeons are either orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons who are fellowship-trained in spine.