As a patient, you may see a neurologist due to a very wide range of symptoms. These include headaches, dizziness, seizures and difficulty with coordination, balance, speech, or comprehension. They can also include memory problems, weakness in the limbs or face, paralysis, and numbness of some parts of the body. You may also have experienced a loss of bladder or bowel control or visual problems such as double vision or involuntary twitching. Neurologists also assess any sudden changes in behaviour. These may be due to a neurological issue, although a psychiatric assessment might also be needed. This could help make a diagnosis, or to help you manage symptoms. It is important to note that not all symptoms always mean something neurologically related.
If you have these symptoms or a condition that affects the nervous system, your GP may suggest you see a neurologist. A neurologist is a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Blackrock Health neurology teams can provide a detailed evaluation and explore treatment options.
Blackrock Health is renowned for excellent neurological care, particularly at the Hermitage Clinic. We have the largest private Neurosurgical Unit in the country, with the greatest number of neurosurgeons in our hospitals. Our team of experts includes neurologists, neurophysiologists, clinical nurse specialists, radiologists, and radiographers. Working together, we can evaluate your condition and explore your treatment options. We treat a wide range of conditions of the nervous system conditions - from chronic headaches to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and motor neuron disease. We can offer you fast access to critical diagnostic tests to help provide the information needed to plan for your treatment. These include MRI, CT, and PET scans, as well as physical and neuropsychological exams to identify the cause of your symptoms. We are committed to delivering patient-centred care and providing expert support to our patients. Dealing with the symptoms or diagnosis of a neurological condition can be very challenging - but we're here to help.
Our team includes:
- Consultant neurologists
- Clinical nurse specialists (in certain locations)
Who we treat
Our expert team run tests for a number of conditions including:
- chronic headaches
- motor neuron disease
- Parkinson's disease
- peripheral nerve disease
- early-onset dementia
- brain tumours
- chronic neuralgic pain
- muscular dystrophy
- multiple sclerosis
- spinal cord disease
- degenerative neurological diseases
What to expect
At your first appointment, your consultant will take a detailed medical history. They may also examine the area affected by your symptoms.
Our Neurology team may use various types of diagnostic tests to assess a patient. These include specialist imaging such as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). This produces detailed 3-D images that can help diagnose diseases of the brain and spine. Other imaging options include a CT scan. This can detect tumours or other abnormalities in the brain. Patients may also have an electroencephalography (EEG) test. This measures electrical activity in the brain and can help diagnose epilepsy. Finally, a lumbar puncture (or spinal tap) can help find infection or tumours in the nervous system.
When it comes to treating neurological symptoms, the options will depend on your condition. For example, patients with chronic headaches may receive pain management or prescription medications. Patients with seizures may be helped by anti-seizure medication or surgical procedures. Those with stroke symptoms may need physiotherapy to improve movement capabilities. The type of treatment chosen will be based on the severity and frequency of a patient's symptoms, as well as their general prognosis.
Scans and diagnostics
Diagnosing a potential neurological issue often needs different imaging methods, like MRI, CT, and PET scans. Tests like blood tests or genetic tests also help give information about a person's medical condition. To check sensory and motor functions, physical exams may be done. In additions, neuropsychological tests could be used to identify any brain issues that could have come from an injury or stroke. All these techniques provide further detail to your medical team. This will help them find out the cause of possible neurological issues and come up with a treatment plan.
An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a diagnostic tool that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images. MRI can help spot abnormalities in brain tissue. This includes injury, stroke, tumours, and other neurological disorders. It can help to diagnose conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or multiple sclerosis. It is also useful to assess if a therapy has been effective in treating a neurological issue
A CT scan (computed tomography) is an imaging technique used in medicine to create detailed, cross-sectional images of the body. It uses x-rays to take detailed images of different layers inside the human body. It works by rotating around the patient while taking a series of x-ray images at specific points along its path. These are then combined using computer software to create a 3D model of the target area. This makes it useful to diagnose neurological problems, as it can identify issues like tumours, swelling, and blood clots. It may also be used to detect changes in the brain caused by strokes or other conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
A PET scan is a shortened name for Positron Emission Tomography. This imaging technique is used to visualise brain function - to look for diseases and other medical conditions. It is especially useful for diagnosing neurological issues as it can identify healthy and damaged areas of the brain. The scan can help doctors diagnose a variety of complex conditions that affect the brain. This includes dementia, seizures, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and Huntington’s disease. Doctors may use a PET scan along with other tests such as MRI or CT scans to assess the severity of a condition before determining a course of treatment.
How do I get this?
You will need a referral letter from your GP or consultant before you make an appointment. Please see our Request Appointment Form here.
Is this insured?
Not all services are covered by health insurance. To find out if you're covered, please check your health insurance before your visit. You can do this on our health insurance Cover Check page here, or by contacting your health insurer.
How do I pay?
If you do not have health insurance or your health plan does not cover the full cost, you will need to pay the balance due before your treatment or procedure. You may be able to claim back some fees on your insurance. To pay an excess not covered by your insurance or any other inpatient fees, please visit our payment page here. If you have any queries about paying for your care, please contact the finance team in your hospital.