Other neurological disorders

 

FITS AND FUNNY TURNS

Fits and funny turns mean different things to different people. In neurology we generally understand these to be episodes of lost or altered consciousness. Common causes include simple faints, abnormal and disordered electrical discharges within the brain (epilepsy) or transient drops in blood pressure due to heart problems. Not all epilepsy results in unconscious shaking on the floor, and often an attack involves a person merely appearing vacant and staring for a short period of time. Whilst tests such as scans and EEG can aid in the diagnosis, the critical assessment is the story obtained from the patient and any eye witnesses by the neurologist. Often just through the story and examination the neurologist can not only tell whether epilepsy is likely to be the problem, they can actually tell which part of the brain is giving rise to the epilepsy. This assessment is very important as not infrequently epilepsy is misdiagnosed which can result in unnecessary tablet treatment and missing other treatable causes.

TREMOR AND MOVEMENT DISORDERS

Tremor is a common neurological symptom and in certain cases, such as when very frightened or anxious, it is normal. It has a variety of causes but the 2 commonest types of tremor are usually Parkinson’s disease and benign essential tremor. The treatment and expectations in these conditions are very different. In many cases a neurologist can make a confident diagnosis based on the story and their expert clinical examination. Often further tests and follow up will help further refine the diagnosis. The correct diagnosis leads to the right treatment at the right time.

WEAKNESS, SENSORY DISTURBANCE AND UNSTEADINESS

These are all common reasons for seeking the opinion of a neurologist and they often occur together. Not infrequently patients are concerned that they may be suffering stroke, brain tumour, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease or other significant disease. The neurologist will take a careful story of the symptoms and then perform a neurological examination. Often they will be able to offer reassurance following this process. Where there is a significant problem they will discuss this with you honestly, sensitively and openly. Further tests such as scans, blood tests or nerve conduction studies may be necessary.

Pain due to Ear disease

  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome
  • Otitis Externa and Interna
  • Mastoiditis

Disorders of the Midface

  • Chronic paranasal sinusitis
  • Related disorders
  • Hemifacial spasm