Neurology is the branch of medicine concerned with the prevention, management and treatment of conditions and disorders of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (nerve roots, nerves and muscles).
Swiss Medical Network has accredited neurologists and state-of-the-art technical facilities, ensuring comprehensive and multidisciplinary care for the diagnosis and follow-up of most neurological conditions.
Neurologists look after patients who have neurological conditions – or nervous system disorders – such as:
The symptoms of neurological disorders are incredibly varied and are caused by damage to the central or peripheral nervous system.
Peripheral nerve damage may cause weakness, numbness or tingling, difficulty going to the toilet or incontinence and loss of balance.
Central nervous system damage to the brain and spinal cord may cause the following symptoms:
In all cases, the sudden onset of these symptoms should cause concern and you need to be aware of the possibility of a stroke; a ‘brain attack’ due to a blood clot blocking an artery that supplies blood to the brain or a bleed on the brain. You must immediately call the emergency services on 144. The campaign cerebral apoplexy from the Swiss Society of Cardiology can help you and your loved ones learn how to recognise the signs of a stroke and quickly assess the situation in case of any doubt.
Neurologists have a wide range of treatment options to aid recovery and prevent complications or additional conditions from developing:
Care depends on the neurological condition and usually involves carrying out a clinical examination of the patient and any further tests. When the patient has had further tests and received a diagnosis, the neurologist can start a treatment, which will usually require long-term follow-up depending on the neurological condition.
Medical follow-up depends on the neurological condition. In some cases, a neurological disorder may only need a single follow-up consultation, while other neurological conditions require specialised, long-term monitoring.
Neurorehabilitation is a key step in helping patients to safely and smoothly return to everyday life.
Specialising in neurorehabilitation, Clinique Valmont supports patients with neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, as well as those suffering from lasting neurological damage due to a stroke. Swiss Medical Network patients can enjoy exclusive benefits during their rehabilitation programme at Clinique Valmont. The clinic has partnered with all supplementary health insurance providers.
A patient is usually referred to neurology by their doctor or specialist because their diagnosis or treatment requires the expertise of a neurologist.
The neurologist will then take over the patient’s follow-up for this specific neurological problem.
As mentioned in the previous section, the sudden onset of neurological symptoms should cause concern and requires urgent medical care: you need to call 144.
Neurologists look after patients who have neurological conditions and disorders, such as strokes, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, migraines, neurological balance disorders and dizziness, cervical and lumbar disc herniations, facial paralysis, myasthenia gravis and neuropathy.
You may experience several symptoms following neurological damage to either your central or peripheral nervous system, including weakness, numbness or tingling, difficulty going to the toilet or incontinence, loss of balance, confusion, loss of memory, headaches, nausea, vomiting, loss of smell, loss of hearing, loss of vision, difficulty speaking, difficulty walking, loss of consciousness, fainting and seizures.
It is important that you can recognise the signs of a stroke because strokes require urgent medical care (call 144 immediately). The warning signs are: paralysis, numbness of weakness in the arms or legs or down one side of the body, communication problems (difficulty speaking), sudden loss or blurring of vision, loss of balance or coordination and difficulty understanding what others are saying.
Neurologists may carry out further tests themselves, such as an electroencephalography or an electroneuromyography. In other cases, they may refer patients for a lumbar puncture, a blood test or an MRI or CT scan for detailed images of the brain or spine.
An electromyography is an important test for diagnosing and monitoring epilepsy. An electroencephalography is used to detect and investigate peripheral nervous system conditions, such as radiculopathy, neuropathy and neuromuscular junction and muscular disorders.
Treatment depends on the type of nervous system disorder and its cause. Medicines can be used to prevent or treat neurological conditions. Care delivered by a multidisciplinary team during diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation is also essential for improving the functional prognosis of a patient.
It is difficult to prevent most neurological conditions. However, the best way to help prevent a stroke is to have a healthy lifestyle and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.