The neurology clinic is the first thing to come to mind when you think of a neurologist in Ireland.
It’s a rare opportunity to get an appointment with one.
And it’s not an uncommon opportunity, either.
In fact, a recent survey found that of the 3,000 patients who had received a referral from the clinic, the majority were women.
“We get about 40% of our referrals from the neurology area,” says Dr Paul Gorman, who heads the Department of Neurology at St Michael’s Hospital in Dublin.
“In the past decade, we’ve had a dramatic increase in our referral rates.
And this is the one that we have in mind.”
There are a number of reasons why neurologists are a vital part of the care of patients.
They work in hospitals, care for patients with complex conditions and can provide a range of services, including surgery, diagnostic testing and specialist rehabilitation.
And they often have a higher level of education and experience than most.
But neurologists also have an important role in society.
“They’re very often part of community-based initiatives,” says Gorman.
“And the more people who get to know them, the more likely they are to help people.”
And because of that, the importance of neurologists is on the rise.
In 2017, the number of neurology appointments in Ireland tripled.
The number of hospital-based neurology visits in Ireland rose by 11% in the same year.
And in 2017, a total of 8,500 people were admitted to the hospital for elective neurological tests and treatment.
That was up from 6,200 in 2016.
The increase in patients admitted to hospital for the elective tests is partly due to the fact that the number and severity of complications from strokes has been increasing, and so the number required to treat those complications has also risen.
“This is a major concern because it is a big challenge to treat people in a stroke, but it is also a major challenge to get the right level of care to those patients,” says GP Dr John O’Donoghue.
“That is why neurology is a crucial part of that equation.”
But the rise in patients is also linked to the rise of the online health network, where patients can access specialist treatments, such as MRI scans and CT scans.
There is also the increasing need for new specialists to perform routine surgery in the UK, as well as the rising demand for specialists in the US.
“I think it’s fair to say that the demand for neurology has risen, and it’s probably due to a combination of factors,” says O’Brien.
While some people think that more doctors are needed, he says that is a misconception.
“There are people who say there are just more specialists out there, but we’re not really there yet,” he says.
“It’s the right time to bring more in, and there are people doing that already.”
What are the challenges?
There are two main types of complications that neurologists deal with: Caused by a stroke or injury to the brain: A stroke can lead to a stroke that involves damage to the nerves in the brain.
For instance, when someone has a stroke in the head, the nerve endings in their brain become damaged, causing the body to shut down.
This can be a devastating problem, especially if the person has suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Other complications: A person has a history of neurologic problems, such in the form of epilepsy or dementia.
This can cause the person to have difficulty with vision, language, balance and hearing, and can lead them to need extra support.
These complications can be life-threatening, and they are difficult to treat.
Causing a seizure: A seizure is a sudden and uncontrollable change in behaviour that causes the brain to stop working.
This happens when the brain loses electrical signals to the muscles and nerves.
This loss of signals can lead the brain’s normal functions to be disrupted.
What can be done?
“If you have a seizure, there’s a range, and you need to assess the severity of it,” says Paddy O’Connor, the head of clinical services at the Royal Hospital of Wales.
“You might need to take a lot of fluids, you might need a lot more medication.
There are some drugs that can help with seizures, but you also have to assess any underlying conditions that might be underlying.”
A seizure is usually a result of a stroke.
So you have to take all of the necessary steps to manage it.”
Is there a fee?
There is no charge to treat patients for a neurology procedure, and the specialist’s fee is covered by the patient’s insurance.
Does it cost anything to treat a seizure?
Some patients who have seizures may require surgery, for example, which can be expensive