Whether you were referred by someone or made the decision to see a neurologist, the experience can be overwhelming. Your thoughts may range from, what if there is something seriously wrong with me? To... What if I have a serious and/or life-threatening neurologic condition?
Just the anticipation about the upcoming evaluation can lead to a less than productive visit. In some cases, patients are too nervous to point out all of their symptoms. In the moment, some may even forget the medications that they take, or even which physicians they have seen and who referred them.
All of these are common occurrences, but there are some very simple, concrete things you can do to help your neurologist help you get well.
Every year almost 1,000,000 people suffer a stroke, or "brain attack". This is caused by loss of blood and oxygen to the brain, and there are number of risk factors. These include high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat), HIGH CHOLESTEROL, diabetes, circulation issues, and carotid artery disease.
Cholesterol is a lipid, which is a soft waxy fat that is in the bloodstream and is found throughout the body. We need cholesterol to form cell membranes, some of our hormones, and vitamin D. We take in cholesterol from foods such as egg yolks, liver, and foods fried in animal fats or tropical oils. If cholesterol levels rise, the fatty, waxy substance can clog arteries by forming a plaque. It can block the smallest blood vessels in the brain, leading to a loss of blood flow and oxygen, thereby causing a stroke. It can also cause occlusion in the carotid arteries, those arteries leading from the heart up to the brain, which can lead to a significant stroke. The plaques can also cause blockage of arteries in the heart, leading to heart disease and high blood pressure.
Since cholesterol does not get to cells and structures on its own, it has to be delivered to and transferred from cells; it does this by using particles called lipoproteins. There are two types, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL cholesterol, also known as "lousy" cholesterol, haartery-cloggingng properties. It brings the cholesterol into the bloodstream and helps to cause plaque buildup. The HDL cholesterol, called "happy" cholesterol, carries the cholesterol from the tissues to the liver, where it can be filtered. High levels of HDL can be protective from stroke and heart attack.
Have you been told by friends and family that you just don't focus? That you can't seem to pay attention? Has this been an ongoing issue, but now you feel it is time to address it? Well, no matter what you may have read or heard, Attention Deficit Disorder is a very real condition. There is no simple blood test, and the diagnosis is a clinical one; that means the diagnosis is made by the physician based on the history and background, and also by ruling out other diagnoses that may act like Attention Disorder. Your doctor may order a brain scan (MRI), EEG, lab tests, and even paper and pencil testing (neuropsychological testing). Often this is a genetically transmitted disorder. There is usually a parent or grandparent or siblings with the same traits.