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Cerebellar Lesions and the Neurologist

Satisfactory Essays
Cerebellar Lesions and the Neurologist

What is a Neurologist?

A neurologist is a medical doctor trained in the diagnosis

and treatment of nervous system disorders including diseases of

the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles

(www.neurologychannel.com). Common nervous system diseases

treated by neurologists include multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s

disease, headaches, stroke or injury to the nervous system. The

types of diagnostic tests employed by neurologists to detect

neurological problems include:

• the CAT (computed axial tomography) scan;

• the MRI/MRA (magnetic resonance imaging/magnetic response

angiography);

• lumbar puncture (or spinal tap);

• EEG (electroencephalography);

• and the EMG/NCV (electromyography/nerve conduction

velocity). (www. Neurologychannel.com)

A neurologist can also prescribe medications to treat diseases

or may refer a person to a neurological surgeon if surgical

treatment is needed. (www.my.webmd.com)

Most of their patients are referred to them by other

doctors who suspect their patients problem/s are neurologically

related. Unsure as to exactly what neurological problem their

patients are afflicted with, neurologists act as a kind of

medical detective and work to figure out what the neurological

problem is, what brain structure is implicated in the problem,

where in that brain structure the problem is based, the severity

of the problem, its future implications, and how the problem can

be treated (Phone interview conducted with Licensed Nurse

Practitioner and Neurological Specialist Douglas Lucas 4/05).

This ‘detective work’ is done through a careful screening

process.

A neurological examination includes a series of questions

and tests that provide crucial information about the nervous

system. For the most part, it is an inexpensive, non-invasive

way to determine what might be wrong. The neurological

examination is divided into several components, each focusing on

a different part of the nervous system. These components

include testing patients mental status, cranial nerves, motor

system, sensory system, the deep tendon reflexes, coordination

and the cerebellum, and gait. (www.neurologychannel.com)

Testing for coordination and cerebellum, for example, is

designed to provide clues conditions that affect the cerebellum.

For example, “the neurologist may ask patients to move their

finger from their nose to the neurologist’s finger, going back

and forth from nose to finger, touching the tip of each.

Patients also may be asked to tap their fingers together quickly

in a coordinated fashion or move their hands one on top of the

other, back and forth, as smoothly as they can. Coordination in
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