Neurological conditions


Overview of neurological conditions

Neurology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of disorders involving the brain and nervous system. The neurological system includes the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junctions, and muscles.

Together, these structures control communication between different parts of the body, enabling movement, thought, and sensory perception.

Our neurologists treat all types of conditions related to the nervous system, including:

  • Blood vessel disorders, including carotid artery stenosis and stroke
  • Brain tumors, including nonmalignant (noncancerous) brain tumors
  • Brain injuries, such as an injury due to concussion or blunt-force trauma
  • Dementia and related conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease
  • Epilepsy and other seizure disorders and syndromes
  • Headache and migraine
  • Movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease
  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy
  • Neuromuscular diseases, including multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy
  • Peripheral nerve injury, including carpal tunnel syndrome and trigeminal neuralgia
  • Postherpetic neuralgia, or persistent pain following an episode of shingles
  • Psychological behaviors related to brain disease or dysfunction
  • Sleep disorders, including insomnia and restless leg syndrome
  • Spine injury, trauma, or degeneration (breakdown), including spinal stenosis in the cervical (neck) or lumbar (low back) areas

Our neurologists also oversee rehabilitation services after surgery and help people regain function after a neurological event, such as a stroke.

If you are experiencing neurological symptoms or have questions, we can help. Our expert team consists of skilled neurologists who work closely with neurosurgeons to provide highly specialized services to adults and children.

Common procedures and tests

In many cases, the cause of a neurological condition is not known or is poorly understood. As a result, your neurologist may order various tests to assess brain and nerve function. The results of these tests guide treatment. Your neurologist may order image scans, blood tests, or specialized examinations, including:

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity
  • Electromyography (EMG) to measure muscle and nerve function and activity
  • Evoked potentials (EP) to measure response time to a sensory stimulus
  • Genetic testing to uncover potential causes of neurological symptoms and diseases
  • Imaging tests including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound
  • Myelography to evaluate the spinal cord and nerve damage
  • Sleep studies to measure brain activity and sleep-wake cycles

Once the evaluation is complete, your neurology treatment may involve:

  • Medication therapy, which is often the primary treatment
  • Care for stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other conditions
  • Physical or occupational therapy for rehabilitation from neurological conditions
  • Minor diagnostic procedures such as myelography (imaging of spine) and spinal tap

Treatment and prevention of neurological conditions vary, depending on severity. Your neurologist may recommend medication and surgery. In some cases, your doctor may request that you be admitted for rehabilitation and more intensive care. Your neurologist will work with you to create a treatment plan that meets your needs and goals.

Our expert team specializes in treating the full range of neurological conditions. If you or a loved one have a neurological condition that requires support, you can trust Dignity Health.

The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.