Methods of Investigation - Neurology
A neurologist is a medical doctor who has specialised in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions which involve the nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and nerves).
Despite the many advances in brain scanning techniques, the important first step in diagnosis for epilepsy is an assessment by a neurologist.
An assessment by a neurologist involves gathering information about the seizures themselves and reviewing the patient's history to establish whether anything in their background might help to explain what has happened. It is also very helpful for a neurologist to hear a description of the events that surrounded the seizure from a family member or a spouse who witnessed the event.
A neurologist will generally perform a physical examination, often obtaining a detailed medical history of the patient. He will then decide whether any more information is needed to help make a diagnosis; this may involve requesting an MRI or CT scan, an EEG, blood tests or an assessment from another specialist, such as a clinical psychologist.
Once all of this information is gathered, the neurologist will try and make a diagnosis of the patient's condition and may suggest treatment.