Multidisciplinary Neurological Care and Treatment

Neurological disorders can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Anyone who is suffering from neurological symptoms is advised to seek care from a multidisciplinary medical team that includes specialists such as skilled nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, psychotherapists, rehabilitation professionals, and, of course, neurosurgeons. A team such as this will be able to provide a personalised diagnosis, treatment, and recovery plan for each patient.

Diagnostic and Treatment Technology

Some of the tools and techniques that a care team may use to diagnose neurological disorders include:

        Electroencephalography (EEG)

        Brain MRI and MRA scans: A magnetic field and radio waves map out the brain as it is being scanned. This lets a radiologist examine the brain, brain vein, and any possible tumours without having to open up the skull.

        Nerve conduction studies (NCS)

        Electromyography (EMG)

        Sleep test polysomnography (PSG)

        Carotid duplex ultrasonography: This includes scans of the intima media thickness, plaque calcifications, and the blood circulation system. Blockages in the carotid arteries can cause symptoms that lead to paralysis.

Some of the conditions that these tests may reveal and that can be treated by a comprehensive neurology centre include epilepsy, migraines and other chronic headaches, seizures, weakness on one side of the body, chronic back pain and inflammation, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer pain. Specialists know that all patients are different and experience their disease differently; therefore, all treatment plans are individualised and personalised.

These treatment plans may include techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct stimulation (TDCS). TMS stimulates nerve cells in the brain using magnetic fields. Stimulating the left and right sides of the brain increases blood flow, and stimulating the nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord increases sensation and movement.

TMS has been shown to improve symptoms related to paralysis, migraine, and peripheral neuropathy. It may also improve motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

TDCS uses direct electrical currents to stimulate specific parts of the brain as needed. Each treatment takes between 20 and 30 minutes. It is noninvasive and painless. TDCS may be able to help patients whose paralysis has not responded well to more conventional treatments.

Treatment Team

A multidisciplinary medical team should include a qualified neurosurgeon and an operating theatre team to offer surgery to patients who do not respond well to the above treatments. Neurosurgical procedures can address brain tumours, epilepsy, diplopia, peripheral neuropathy, and some types of numbness. Post-surgical recovery plans should include pharmacological management, physical therapy, nutritional advice, and psychotherapy.

 

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