General Neurology


What is Neurology?

Neurology is a branch of medicine that focuses on diagnosing conditions and disorders associated with the nervous system. Neurologists may be involved in clinical research, clinical trials, and basic or translational research. While neurology is a non-surgical specialty, its corresponding surgical specialty is neurosurgery.

Common neurological disorders include: stroke, Alzheimer's disease, headache, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis, pain, tremor, brain and spinal cord injuries, brain tumors, peripheral nervous disorders and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.



When should you see a Neurologist?

The following symptoms could indicate the need for Neurological consultation:

  • Headaches or head injury
  • Chronic pain
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness
  • Tremors, stiffness, or drastic lack of coordination
  • Sudden vision problems

Neurologists see patient's that have been referred to them by another physician. Consult your primary care physician to see if this step is recommended for you.


A neurologist will usually begin their evaluation of a patient by examining their comprehensive medical history, followed by a physical examination of a patient's cognitive function, cranial nerves, motor strength, sensation, reflexes, coordination, and gait. These tests are simple and painless. The purpose is to assess your neurological function, including your muscle strength, how your autonomic nerves are functioning, and your ability to feel different sensations. If necessary, a physician might order additional testing of the nervous system.

Common tests includes: CT Scans, MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, EEG, and EMG. See a full list of Semmes Murphey Tests & Procedures.


Semmes Murphey physicians are active in new research, gene therapy, drug studies and development of new techniques for neuro-oncology and cerebrovascular diseases. Many of our physicians are involved in clinical studies which evaluate new ways of managing different types of brain tumors. Our pediatric neurosurgeons play key roles in one of the largest pediatric brain tumor services in the world at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Each surgeon works closely with neurologists, oncologists and other specialists to deliver treatment to children with brain tumors.


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