Jefferson Health Northeast


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a neurologist?

A neurologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system. A neurologist is not a surgeon and does not perform neurosurgery. Neurologists make their diagnoses by taking a careful history of the patient, examination, and ordering tests such as bloodwork, CT, or MRI scans.

What are some common neurological disorders?

Some of the most common disorders are:

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS): a nervous system disease affecting the brain and/or spinal cord that degenerates mobility over time
  • Stroke: a "brain attack" that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain
  • Migraine: a very painful type of headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision
  • Epilepsy: a condition that affects the nervous system that often causes seizures in the patient
  • Alzheimer's disease and dementia: two of the most common forms of memory loss; related to issues among older people
  • Parkinson's Disease: disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination
  • Neuropathy: a disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness

What are some common symptoms of neurological diseases?

Headaches, of course, can be one possible symptom. Others include:

  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Tremor
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Unexplained pain

How can I tell if I have a neurological problem or just a bad headache?

Headaches are common. Some people might have them often, while other individuals almost never seem to have them. The best way to tell if there might be an issue is a change in your "headache pattern." For example, have you gone from someone who rarely has headaches to someone who gets them more frequently? Or if you normally have mild headaches, have they become severe lately?

If you experience a change in your headache patterns, you should see a neurologist at the earliest opportunity.