What is Neurology?
Neurology is the study of the Nervous System (brain, spinal cord and nerves), how it controls various parts of the body and the diseases and disorders that may affect it.

The brain coordinates how we think and what we do physically as well as controlling how the body manages itself. It sends messages to, and receives information from, the rest of the body via a complex system of nerves which use chemicals and electricity to send information.

A medical specialist in this field is a Neurologist. A Neurosurgeon is a surgeon who operates on parts of the nervous system. The two specialists often work together, depending on the problem.
A Clinical Neurophysiologist is a neurologist who has had additional training in specialised testing of electrical pathways in the peripheral nervous system and muscle, as well as the brain.

Referral Expectations

Your GP will refer you to see a neurologist if they think you have a problem that involves the nervous system and that needs specialist help in diagnosing or treating that condition.

A history of your symptoms will be taken as well as a review of any medications you are on (so please bring these with you). The doctor may also review any old notes and previous problems you have had. It is important to bring any medical records you have, and any test results or scans you may have in your possession, as well as your current medications.

Clear communication about your problems is essential. If you have difficulty communicating in English, it is advised that you bring along someone who can interpret for you. If you have had any blackouts, it is helpful to bring along a description from someone who may have witnessed the blackout.

You will then be examined which may include a general examination as well as an examination of the nervous system. An examination of the brain and nerves may include testing your memory and concentration as well as other aspects of thinking processes. It also involves examining how well the nerves to your head and body are working. Appointments last 30-60 minutes.

The specialist will discuss with you the possible diagnosis and what further tests or treatments are recommended. They will correspond with your GP about your diagnosis, results of tests and a treatment plan. You may have on-going follow-up with the specialist or be discharged back to the care of your GP.

You may also be referred to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist. A physiotherapist provides physical therapy to assist with any disability you have. An occupational therapist reviews what equipment/advice will assist in activities of daily living if you have a disability.

Clinical neurophysiology is a specialised area of neurology which involves measurement of nerve, muscle and brain function. Nerve conduction studies and electromyography are used to investigate disorders of peripheral nerve or muscle. Usually this is performed on the advice of another specialist. Occasionally your general practitioner may refer you for this test if Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is suspected.

ACC funded cases are not accepted, unless there is a purchase order approved by an ACC manager.