The branch of medicine that studies and treats nervous system disorders.
Neurology at Ramsay Health Care
If you are suffering from signs and symptoms of a neurological disorder, Ramsay’s neurology multi-disciplinary teams are here to help. We have the highest calibre of neurologists and neurosurgeons to perform a range of tests and procedures using the latest technologies to diagnose and treat your neurological condition. They offer convenient appointments without waiting at a local Ramsay hospital near you.
From acute brain injuries to chronic conditions, we can investigate your symptoms and offer the latest treatments and drug management for your neurological condition. When you’re on your road to recovery we can support your wellbeing throughout by providing physiotherapy, pain management, lifestyle advice, medications, emotional support and other therapies.
We offer fixed price packages and we will price match if you receive a lower quotation from another healthcare provider. Terms and conditions apply.
Your safety is our priority. We have strict infection control protocols in place to keep you and our staff safe whilst visiting one of our Ramsay hospitals.
What is neurology
Neurology is the study of your nervous system. It includes your brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system and a network of nerves called your peripheral nervous system.
Your nervous system is essential to keep your body alive and functioning. Your nerves transmit messages between your brain, spinal cord and the rest of your body to regulate and coordinate your body’s activities.
Your nervous system controls your:
- Senses including smell, touch, sight and taste.
- Body and muscle movement such as balance and coordination.
- Other body systems such as blood flow and blood pressure.
- Ability to think and reason, memories, and language.
What does a neurologist treat you for?
A neurologist is a specialist in neurology. They investigate and treat many conditions that affect your nervous system including your brain, spine and nerves. The neurological conditions a neurologist treats you for include strokes, headaches, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, muscles disease and motor neurone disease.
What are the most common neurological disorders?
There are hundreds of different neurological disorders due to the complexity of our nervous system.
The most common neurological disorders include stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and seizures, migraines, meningitis and autism.
Why would you be referred to a neurologist?
You might be referred to a neurologist if you have symptoms that could be caused by a neurological disease or disorder. These include headaches, chronic pain, slurred speech, numbness, memory loss, dizziness and imbalance, and movement problems or tremors.
A stroke happens when your blood supply is restricted or stopped and your brain cells begin to die. 85% of strokes happen when a blood clot blocks the blood flow to your brain and are called ischaemic strokes. Strokes are a medical emergency and need urgent treatment. Less damage will happen if a person suffering from a stroke is treated quickly. Stroke treatment typically involves one or more different medicines such as thrombolysis, aspirin and other antiplatelets, anticoagulants, blood pressure medicines and statins. Surgery may be offered including thrombectomy, carotid endarterectomy, craniotomy, and surgery for hydrocephalus.
If you have a headache associated with neurological symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, imbalance, numbness, paralysis, confusion or seizures, or you have a sudden, new and severe headache, you should seek medical care immediately. A neurologist will assess your headache and other symptoms and decide the best treatment. For migraines there is no cure but there are treatments to help ease symptoms. Behavioural interventions (such as relaxation, biofeedback and stress management), over-the-counter painkillers, triptans, anti-sickness medicines (anti-emetics), combination medicines or transcranial magnetic stimulation may be used to treat migraines.
Is a common condition that affects your brain and causes frequent seizures. Treatment can help most people with epilepsy to have fewer or stop having seizures. The main treatment is anti-epileptic drugs. Other treatments include surgery to remove a small part of your brain that is causing your seizures, insertion of a small electrical device inside your body to help control seizures, and a special seizure controlling diet. Treatment may continue for your lifetime or may be stopped if your seizures disappear over time.
Dementia a general term for an impaired ability to remember, think or make decisions that interfere with doing your daily activities. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. Currently, there is no cure for dementia. Treatment depends on the exact type of dementia. It can help prevent further damage to a dementia-affected brain, it may slow down its progression and it can lessen a person’s symptoms. Drugs include donepezil, rivastigmine or galantamine or those that treat the underlying cause of your dementia. Lifestyle changes such as relaxation, social interaction and a healthy diet, and non-drug treatments such as physiotherapy and speech, language and cognitive therapies may be recommended.
Parkinson's Disease is when parts of your brain become progressively damaged over years. Symptoms associated include tremors, slow movement, and stiff and inflexible muscles. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s. Treatments can help reduce the symptoms and maintain a quality of life for longer. In the early stages of Parkinson’s, symptoms are usually mild and you may not need treatment. You may have regular appointments with your specialist to monitor your condition. Treatment for Parkinson’s include physiotherapy and occupational therapy, medication and deep brain stimulation surgery to block faulty nerve signals.
Brain tumours can be cancerous or non-cancerous. A benign brain tumour tends to grow slower than a cancerous tumour. Headaches, fits, feeling sick and vision problems are symptoms of both types of brain tumour. Some people with non-cancerous brain tumours only need their tumour growth monitoring. Surgery is the main treatment for non-cancerous brain tumours. Radiosurgery may be used for tumours that are difficult to safely remove if they are located deep inside your brain. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be used to shrink or kill non-cancerous brain tumours. Medicines such as anticonvulsants, steroids, painkillers and anti-emetics may also help treat some symptoms. Treatment for a cancerous brain tumour aims to remove as much of it as possible and try to stop it from coming back. Treatments include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and radiosurgery. Medicines may also be used to relieve headache, seizure and sickness symptoms.
The type of neuropathy depends on which nerves are damaged, compressed or defective. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common. Proximal, cranial, autonomic and focal neuropathy are other types. Symptoms depend on which nerves are affected. Treatment depends entirely on the type of nerve damage, symptoms and location. Correcting the underlying causes of neuropathy can help improve it. For example, diabetic neuropathy where higher than normal glucose levels damage the nerves can be controlled by lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake, keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly. Medicines may be used to treat the underlying cause or relieve nerve pain. Physiotherapy and splints can help with muscle and walking weakness.
Peripheral neuroathy when nerves outside of your brain or spinal cord such as those in your hands, feet and arms are damaged. The main symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include numbness and tingling in your hands or feet, burning or shooting pain in affected areas, imbalance and muscle weakness. Treatment involves taking care of any underlying cause or symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Medications include pain relievers, anti-seizure medications, topical treatments and antidepressants. Various therapies and procedures can help ease the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), plasma exchange and intravenous immune globulin, physiotherapy and surgery.
There are many neuromuscular diseases and our experienced neurology team will treat them. Muscle weakness is one of the first signs of a problem with your muscles and it progresses over time. Types of muscle disease include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, myopathy and myositis. Most muscular system diseases are incurable. However, they can be managed with symptoms treated, disease progression delayed and quality of life improved. Treatment may include drug therapy such as immunosuppressants to inhibit or prevent the overactivity of your immune system and corticosteroids and other medications to reduce muscle spasms and cramping. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy and sometimes surgery are other treatment options.
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis a condition that affects your brain and spinal cord. It happens when your immune system is not working properly and attacks your nerves by mistake. With MS you may experience a range of symptoms including vision problems, fatigue, numbness or tingling feelings and pain. There is currently no cure for MS but there are medicines and other treatments to take care of its symptoms. Treatment may be given for specific MS symptoms such as painkillers and medications, physiotherapy, exercise, diet and sleep advice, and mobility aids. Disease modifying therapies (DMTs) and steroids may be given if you have an MS relapse to help speed up your recovery or have fewer and less severe relapses.
Motor neurone disease (MND)
Motor neurone disease is a progressive condition that attacks the nerves in your brain. It causes messages to gradually stop reaching your muscles and leads to muscle weakness and wasting over time. Symptoms and progression rate vary. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat and breathe as well as how you think and behave. There is no cure for motor neurone disease but treatment can help reduce the impact of your symptoms. Treatments include specialist nurse and occupational therapy to help make everyday tasks easier, physiotherapy and exercises to maintain strength and reduce stiffness, speech and language therapy advice, diet and eating advice, riluzole medicine that can slightly slow down the condition, medicines to relieve muscle stiffness and help with saliva problems, and emotional support.
What can a neurologist diagnose?
A neurologist can diagnose and treat disorders that affect your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. These include:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Headache and blackout disorders – including migraines
- Brain and peripheral nervous system infections – such as meningitis
- Movement disorders - such as Parkinson's disease
- Degenerative disorders - such as Alzheimer's disease and other dementia conditions, Parkinson's disease and MND
- Seizure disorders - such as epilepsy
- Spinal cord disorders
- Brain tumours
- Speech and language disorders
Neurologists do not perform surgery. If a patient requires surgery, they refer them to a neurosurgeon.
What are the signs and symptoms of neurological disorder?
Signs and symptoms of a neurological disorder includes:
- frequent or severe headaches including migraines
- dizziness, loss of balance or coordination problems
- muscle weakness
- partial or complete paralysis
- tingling, numbness or changes in body sensation - especially if it occurs on one side of the body or comes on suddenly
- confusion or loss of memory
- severe or chronic pain
- sensory changes that affect your sense of touch, vision, smell or taste.
What is the recovery process after a neurology procedure?
The recovery process after a neurology procedure will depend on your exact procedure and your condition and its progression that is being treated.
For example, the recovery process after a thrombectomy is quick as this is a day case procedure and patients typically go home the same day with a care plan for their recovery at home.
For patients recovering from brain tumour surgery, healing and getting back to your normal daily routine can take some time. You might stay in hospital for around 3 to 10 days after brain tumour surgery.
Your neurology specialist will discuss in depth what to expect in your recovery process following your neurology procedure.
After your surgery, you may be cared for by different members of the team to promote your speedy recovery. The multi-disciplinary team includes nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and neuropsychologists.
What is the cost of a neurology procedure?
The cost of a neurology procedure will depend on your neurological condition, the exact treatment requested by your neurologist and your Ramsay hospital of choice.
You will receive a formal quotation price for your neurology procedure following a consultation with one of our expert neurologists. This formal quote for your neurology procedure will be valid for 60 days.
Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Neurology procedures are covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before your procedure.
We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your neurology procedure yourself. We offer interest-free finance with 0% interest, no deposit and affordable monthly instalments, so you can start treatment immediately.