With so many medical specialities, it’s so obvious for people to get confused about whom to consult for their medical problems, especially when it is your neurological problems. It becomes tough to distinguish doctors according to their field of specialization. Something that makes this thing even more difficult is terminologies that sound similar in nature.
But don’t worry; this article is here to help you decide which Specialist you should consult according to your neurological disorder. As Neurosurgery and neurology are often misunderstood as one and the same thing, people get confused with the two.
In Medical, every speciality has two branches, the first one is the medicine branch and the other one is surgical. Neurosurgeons and Neurologists are doctors who specialize in the treatment of medical problems that affect the central nervous system of the human body. The central nervous system is consist of the spinal cord and brain, it controls most functions of the body.
What is a Neurological Disorder?
Neurological disorders can be short-term or even chronic diseases. It affects the spine, brain, central and peripheral nervous system. There are almost more than 600 neurological disorders that are found in humans. A few of the neurological disorders that are found most commonly in people are brain tumour or haemorrhage, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It also consists of memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and brain malformations are also considered neurological disorders.
The diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders come with various approaches, from medication to surgery. The treatment of neurological disorders includes medication, therapy, and even surgery depending on the condition of the patient. The first step of the treatment begins by visiting your family doctor if you are not able to identify the symptoms by yourself. Then your family doctor may refer you to a neurologist and/ or a neurosurgeon for further diagnosis and treatment.
If the treatment of the disease doesn’t involve many complications then, the neurologist will be enough to handle your treatment, but if the circumstances are not so good then, a neurosurgeon would be required for your treatment. But before starting the treatment, the diagnosis of the patient’s symptoms is made through several diagnostic tools and by conducting various tests such as laboratory tests of blood, urine, and other bodily fluids, imaging procedures like CT scan, MRI, ultrasound and Angiography are also used, to know the cause behind person’s symptoms.
What is a Neurosurgeon?
There is a common myth among people that a neurosurgeon is just a brain surgeon, but no, a Neurosurgeon is a medical practitioner who diagnoses and treats conditions of the spinal cord, brain, and nervous system through non-surgical and surgical treatment on the basis of illness and injury caused to the patient. Neurosurgeons go through extensive training in the diagnosis of neurological disorders and that is the reason why other medical practitioners or physicians such as neurologists, internists, emergency room doctors, and general practitioners request for their consultation.
Neurosurgeons are trained to treat people who have trauma to the brain and spine, blocked arteries, chronic low-back pain, aneurysms, birth defects, tumours in the brain or spine cord or peripheral nerve problems. They also perform surgeries for carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal surgery, surgery for removing tumours from the brain and spinal cord, etc. Apart from conducting complex surgeries, they also treat conditions that do not require any surgery like low back pain, neck pain, degenerative diseases of the spine, cerebrovascular diseases, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
Few surgeries performed by neurosurgeons are:
- Aneurysms are weak areas in blood vessels. These areas may burst or bleed out.
- The abnormal growth of brain cells leading to brain tumours. Brain tumours are categorised into two parts, the ones that are deadly are called malignant and the others that are not deadly are known as benign. It is one of the most common surgeries performed by a neurosurgeon.
- Discectomy- It involves the removal of the damaged intervertebral disc.
- Lumbar Puncture- In this surgery, spinal fluid is extracted to diagnose and test the neurological disorder.
If you know that the patient needs any kind of complex surgery related to his central nervous systems like the brain or spinal cord, then without any doubt you should consult Neurosurgeon near you to get the treatment done. Dr Shailesh Jain has expertise in conducting various successful surgeries with the latest equipment. He is the Best Neurosurgeon you will come across, with his years of experience he instantly recognizes what treatment his patients need. Even though Neurosurgeons can perform very complex operations, they try to use non-surgical treatment methods first to treat the patient. And they shift to surgery only when these methods don’t yield any useful outcomes.
What is a Neurologist?
After knowing who is a neurosurgeon, you must also understand what is a neurologist? And what conditions do he/she treats?
A neurologist also treats diseases and conditions of the brain and central nervous system but, they do not perform surgery. This is one of the major differences between a Neurosurgeon and a neurologist. Some common neurological conditions that are treated by neurologists are headache, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, pain, brain tumours, sleep disorders, peripheral nerve disorders, etc. Some neurologists also have a sub-speciality like paediatric neurology, epilepsy, behaviour neurology, neurophysiology, and others.
Disorders treated by neurologists:
- Alzheimer’s disease: is a progressive disease that destroys the mental functions and memory of the patient.
- Epilepsy: It is an abnormal electrical activity in the brain which causes a disturbance in the patient’s cognitive ability. It also causes seizures and uncontrolled movements.
- Multiple sclerosis- It is an auto-immune where T-cells of the body mistakenly eats away the protective myelin coating of the spinal cord and brain.
- Parkinson’s Disease– It is a disorder of the nervous system that keeps on growing and affects movements of the body. Low dopamine levels are the reason behind symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but the cause behind a low level of dopamine in the first place is not known yet.
- Sleep Disorders- Change in the normal sleeping patterns of the person, which causes him/her to be unable to sleep on their regular schedule.
- Stroke– It is mostly caused by deprivation of oxygen to the brain cells or the damage caused to the particular area of the brain because of the interrupted blood flow.
Neurologist’s use diagnostic tests such as MRI, EEG, and CAT (computer-assisted tomography) scans for the identification of neurological conditions. They mainly focus on identifying neurological conditions that can be treated using drugs and therapies.
If you or any person in your family is having a neurological disorder, especially the one that needs regular care and attention, then visit a Neurologist near you as a neurologist can be your primary healthcare provider.
There are few conditions in which a neurologist and Neurosurgeon work together, such as epilepsy or other neurological conditions that require surgery. Dr Shailesh Jain is the best doctor for epilepsy in Pitampura. He also specializes in the treatment of brain stroke. He is an expert in treating injuries and disorders that affect the central nervous system. Dr Shailesh Jain is an expert in surgical as well as non-surgical treatment of brain and nervous system diseases. If you Google for neuro near me, then I suggest he would be the best choice for you.
Sometimes, a Neurologist and a Neurosurgeon work in collaboration, for instance, a neurologist refer their patients to a neurosurgeon when surgery is required as in the case of brain tumours and a Neurosurgeon refers its patients to a neurologist for the long-term management of the diseases after the surgery has taken place. No doubt that their work overlaps most of the time but both of them have their own importance.
Degree and Training:
Neurologists have to go through 4 years of pre-medical education at a university or college, which results in the degree of MD or DO. Thereafter, they must complete one year of internship and a minimum of three years of speciality training in a neurology residence program. This is the bare minimum requirement to become a neurologist. However, if someone desires they can take additional training in the area of their interest such as sleeping disorders, stokes, etcetera to gain more specialization in their field.
On the other hand, a Neurosurgeon goes through a training period which is considered the longest training period in any medical speciality. After finishing four years of pre-medical education, they go for four years of medical school and a year of internship. It was further followed with 3 years M.Ch (Neuro Surgery) and 2 years of training in neuro intervention. Moreover, even after all of this, most Neurosurgeons pursue fellowship to get more specialization in one particular area such as paediatric neurosurgery, spine, or peripheral nerve surgery. Neurosurgeons have to go through intensive training before they start practising on their patients independently.
In nutshell, experience matters a lot, especially in the field of medicine. The training period of neurosurgeons is so long because of the technicalities of the human nervous system, and only an experienced doctor can perform such complex surgeries.