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What is Neurology?

This is the medical speciality concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system - the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerves.

The first scientific studies of nerve function were done in the 18th century.  However, clinical neurology remained virgin territory until the mid-19th century when information began to be gleaned about the causes of epilepsy, aphasia, and problems due to brain damage.  Knowledge of the brain and nervous functions came from studies of animals and the analysis of human nerve cells under the microscope.  The diagnosis of neurological disease was improved by the invention in the 1920s of the electroencephalograph (EEG) to record electrical brain activity.  Next came the development of cerebral angiography to see the blood vessels in the brain.  The invention of computerized axial tomography (the CAT scan) in the early 1970s and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the 1980s have now permitted detailed non invasive views of the brain.

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