Position emission tomography (PET) scan to look at brain metabolic activity
Neuroradiology is a branch of neuroscience medicine that 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.
Open or traditional neurosurgery may be needed in some cases to treat problems in the brain and surrounding structures. This is more 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, thereby avoiding damage to surrounding brain tissue.
Treatment of nervous system-related diseases or disorders may also include:
Medications, possibly given by a drug pumps (such as those used for patients with severe muscle spasms)
Deep brain stimulation
Rehabilitation/physical therapy after brain injury or stroke
WHO IS INVOLVED
The neurosciences medical team is often made up of health care providers from many different specialties. This may include:
Neurologist: A doctor who has received extra training in the treatment of brain and nervous system disorders
Vascular surgeon: A doctor who has received extra training in the surgical treatment of blood vessel disorders
Neurosurgeon: A doctor who has received extra training in brain and spine surgery
Neuropsychologist: A doctor specially trained in administering and interpreting tests of the cognitive function of the brain
Radiologist: A doctor who received extra training in interpreting medical images and in performing different procedures using imaging technology specifically for treating brain and nervous system disorders
Nurse practitioners (NPs)
Physician assistants (PAs)
Nutritionists or dietitians
Primary care doctors
Physical therapists, who help with mobility, strength, balance, and flexibility
Occupational therapists, who help keep people functioning well in the home and at work
Speech-language therapists, who help with speech, language, and understanding
This list is not all-inclusive.
Joseph V. Campellone, M.D., Division of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.