Neurology (Brain & Nerves)
A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system. Neurologists are principal care providers or consultants to other physicians when a patient has a neurological disorder requiring specialized care. Neurologists can recommend surgical treatment, but do not perform surgery. When surgical treatment is required, a neurosurgeon will be consulted and neurologists will monitor surgically treated patients and supervise their continuing treatment. Neurosurgeons are medical doctors who specialize in performing surgical treatments of the brain or nervous system.
WHAT DOES A NEUROLOGIST TREAT?
Neurologist treats disorders of the nervous system, brain, spinal cord, nerves, muscles and pain.
Common neurological disorders include :
Infection of the brain and nervous system
Motor neuron disease
Peripheral nerve disorders
Dementia e.g. Alzheimers disease
Sleep disorders e.g. obstructive sleep apnea
WHAT IS A NEUROLOGICAL EXAMINATION?
During a neurological examination, the neurologist reviews the patient’s health history with special attention to the current condition. The patient then takes a neurological examination. The examination typically tests vision, eye movement, cranial nerves function, strength, coordination, reflexes and sensation. The information helps the neurologist determine if the problem is in the nervous system.
WHEN DO PATIENTS NEED A NEUROLOGICAL EXAMINATION?
A neurological examination may be needed when a patient experiences one or more of the following symptoms :
Slowness and stiffness
Double vision and visual blurring
Weakness (arm, leg and face)
Snoring with daytime sleepiness
Numbness (arm, leg and face)
Poor or deteriorating memory
Talking or swallowing difficulty
Nerve pain (arm, leg, back and face)
WHAT NEUROLOGICAL TESTS CAN BE DONE AT TIMBERLAND MEDICAL CENTRE?
1. Computerized tomography (CT scan)
This test uses x-rays and computers to create two- or three-dimensional pictures of selected body parts. Dye (contrast) may be injected into a patient’s vein to obtain a better picture. The test takes only several minutes. Other than the needle insertion for the dye, the test is painless.
2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI is an advanced way of taking pictures of the inner brain. It is harmless and involves magnetic fields and radio waves. It is performed with a patient lying in a chamber for about 30 minutes. Because the MRI utilizes a very strong magnet, if you have metal in your body other then dental fillings, you must notify your doctor. Be sure to tell your doctor if you suffer from claustrophobia (fear of closed areas). The test is painless.
3. Electroencephalogram (EEG)
The EEG records the brain’s continuous electrical activity through electrodes attached to the scalp. It is used to help diagnose episodes such as seizures, fainting or black out and occasionally structural diseases of the brain. This test takes about an hour and is painless.
4. Electromyogram (EMG)
An EMG measures and records electrical activity from the muscles and nerves. This may be helpful in determining the cause of pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the muscles or nerves. Small needles are inserted into the muscle and mild electrical shock are given to stimulate the nerve. Discomfort may be experienced with this test.
5. Sleep studies
This involves tests that diagnose specific causes of sleep problems. To perform this test, it is often necessary for a patient to spend a night in a sleep laboratory. Brain wave activity, heart rate, electrical activity of the heart, breathing, oxygen in the blood, body position and leg movements are all measured during the sleep tests. The test is painless.
HOW ARE NEUROLOIGCAL DISORDERS TREATED?
Many neurological disorders can be treated. Treatment or symptomatic relief is different for each condition. To find out about treatment options, the neurologist will perform and interpret tests of the brain or nervous system. Many conditions are treated with medications. Certain conditions may require surgery. Botulinum toxin injection also plays an important role in diseases with hyperactive muscles or movement disorders.
After more than 23 years in service, Timberland Medical Centre is among the leading private hospitals and medical centres in the region (Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo, Kalimantan) to specialize in Neurology; assisting in the healing of the sick so they may enjoy a better quality of life.
Doctors working within Neurology (Brain & Nerves):Dr. Soo Hua Huat
MBBS (MAL) MRCP (UK) FAMS (Neurology)