Frequently Asked Questions
Neurology is the medical specialty that deals with the health and disease of the brain, the spinal cord, the nerves of the head and the limbs, and muscles.
Common neurological diseases are stroke, dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), headaches, peripheral neuropathies. multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.
Rare neurological diseases include ALS, Guillain Barre Syndrome and its chronic variant CIDP, myasthenia gravis and brain tumors.
A neurologist is specialist who deals with the health and disease of the brain, the spinal cord, the nerves of the head and the limbs, and muscles.
Neurologists diagnose and treat diseases such as stroke, dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), headaches, peripheral neuropathies. multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Guillain Barre Syndrome and its chronic variant CIDP, myasthenia gravis and brain tumors.
Some neurologists choose to subspecialize in a subset of these diseases, whereas other maintain a broader range of interests.
Neurologists do not operate on the brain (that is the job of neurosurgeons). Some specialize in treating diseases of the brain blood vessels using endovascular techniques, which do not require an operation.
The neurological consultation usually starts with a conversation, to understand the difficulties that brought you to the neurologists, and to understand your expectations. It proceeds to the neurological exam, which focuses on the problem that brought you to the neurologist, and usually includes a screen of other functions of the brain. It may include an assessment of memory and thinking abilities; the ability to see, hear and walk; the flexibility of muscles, and their strength; the ability of perceive sensory stimuli; dexterity, coordination, balance and reflexes.
You need to see a neurologist if anything has changed for the worse in the functioning of your brain: the ability to think, remember, see or move easily; or if your mood or behavior have changed for the worse inexplicably. Usually this is done after consultation with your primary health care provider, who will provide a referral. Your primary health care provider will have verified that there are no medical problems, that are causing these changes for the worse, and will help implement the neurologist’s recommendations.
The neurologist will check to see if you have a disease of the brain, the spinal cords, the nerves or the muscles, and will try to give it a name – a diagnosis. Frequently this may be a disease from which you can recover; other diseases require ongoing treatment to mitigate or manage its effects. It depends on getting a precise diagnosis.
It makes sense to get a neurological consultation if you or someone close has memory difficulties to try to find out why this is happening. Sometimes the cause is reversible or readily treatable.
Occasionally, you may be experiencing the start of a more serious disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Early diagnosis permits amelioration of factors that may accelerate its course and administration of treatments that might extend the mild phase of the disease. Early diagnosis gives patients and their families the opportunity to prepare for the future while maximizing their use of the present.
A neurological expert opinion is a document that summarizes an individual’s neurological condition, where the main purpose is not necessarily diagnosis and treatment, but rather the generation of a document to present to a third party.
Dr. Armon is available to prepare a neurological expert opinion, but this requires advance preparation and coordination, with appropriate time allocation. Generation of an expert opinion is not part of the usual neurological consultation.
If the purpose of the expert opinion is to support legal proceedings, the contact with Dr. Armon needs to be initiated by the attorneys involved.
It needs to be stated upfront, that Dr. Armon’s opinions reflect his understanding of the situation, and there is no guarantee that it will coincide with that of the individuals requesting the opinion.
Dr. Armon will want to know about the reasons that brought you to the consultation, about past and active medical issues and about your medications. He will then perform a neurological exam appropriate to the reason for the consultation.
The result of the initial consultation will likely be a plan for additional tests to sort out the various possible explanations for the presenting symptoms, and for a follow-up visit to understand what the most likely explanation for the situation might be (“the diagnosis”) and to discuss its implications.
Occasionally, the diagnosis may have already been made, or may be clear at the beginning of the first visit, and it may be possible to dedicate most of the time to discussing implications.
Dr. Armon’s initial consultations extend for one hour. If additional time is needed to discuss findings and implications – an early follow-up visit can be scheduled at the end of the initial consultation. This may be conducted via video.