Neurosciences refers to the branch of medicine that focuses on the nervous system. The nervous system is made of two parts:
The central nervous system (CNS) consists of your brain and spinal cord.
The peripheral nervous system consists of all your nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, including those in your arms, legs, and trunk of the body. Your peripheral nervous system is divided into two parts:
Together, your brain and spinal cord serve as the main "processing center" for the entire nervous system, and control all the functions of your body. Your brain defines who you are. It is also responsible for all of your thoughts, emotions, memories, and behaviors.
Many different different medical conditions can affect the nervous system, including:
DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING
Neurologists and other neuroscience specialists use special tests and imaging techniques to see how the nerves and brain are working.
Along with blood and urine tests, tests done to diagnose nervous system diseases may include:
Neuroradiology is a branch of neuroscience medicine. It focuses on diagnosing and treating nervous system problems.
Interventional neuroradiology involves inserting tiny, flexible tubes called catheters into blood vessels leading to the brain. This allows the doctor to treat blood vessel disorders that can affect the nervous system, such as stroke.
Interventional neuroradiology treatments include:
Open or traditional neurosurgery may be needed to treat problems in the brain and surrounding structures. This is invasive surgery that requires the surgeon to make an opening, called a craniotomy, in the skull.
Microsurgery allows the surgeon to work on very small structures in the brain using a microscope and very small, precise instruments.
Stereotactic radiosurgery may be needed for certain types of nervous system disorders. This is a form of radiation therapy that focuses high-powered x-rays on a small area of the body. This helps to avoid damage to surrounding brain tissue.
Treatment of nervous system-related diseases or disorders may also include:
WHO IS INVOLVED
The neurosciences medical team is often made up of health care providers from different specialties. This may include:
This list is not all-inclusive.
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Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Newman NJ, Pomeroy SL. Investigations in diagnosis and management of neurological disease. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 34.
Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Newman NJ, Pomeroy SL. Management of neurological disease. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SK, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 51.
Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, et al. Studying the nervous system. In: Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, et al, eds. Neuroscience. 6th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2017;chap 1.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 11/9/2021
Reviewed By: Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper Medical School at Rowan University, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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