A neurologist is a physician who specializes in treating diseases of the nervous system, including MS. An MS neurologist is a neurologist who specializes in the treatment of MS. How are neurologists involved in your MS care?
Diagnosis: A neurologist is the physician who usually diagnoses MS. If your family physician suspects you may have MS, you will likely be referred to a neurologist for diagnosis. The diagnosis usually involves a medical history, nerve function tests, laboratory tests, and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to look for MS-related damage in the brain.
Treatment: The neurologist oversees your MS treatment and is responsible for prescribing medications to treat MS, including disease-modifying drugs and drugs to help with symptoms. Your family physician should also be closely involved with your care. The neurologist can also refer you to other health professionals for other aspects of your treatment (see below).
Referrals: Neurologists can also provide referrals to other healthcare professionals, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, or MS nurses, urologists (doctors that specialize in bladder and urinary system problems), gynecologists (doctors that specialize in women's reproductive health), gastroenterologists (doctors specializing in stomach and intestine conditions), psychiatrists (doctors that specialize in mental health), sex therapists, or pain specialists. Each person with MS is different, and the treatments that you need will determine which referrals your neurologist makes.
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