Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Austyn. Austyn Wonders, “What does a neurologist do” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Austyn!

Before we get to today’s Wonder of the Day, how about a joke? Okay, here it goes. Why did the banana stay home from school?

What do you think? Any ideas? Okay… the banana had a SPLITting headache! Ha! Get it? 

Have you ever had a headache? If so, you know they’re no joking matter. Headaches have many causes. Sometimes, they last a long time. A bad headache can really wreck a good day. 

Many people have headaches often. Others have very bad headaches called migraines. Sometimes, bad headaches interrupt people’s day-to-day activities. When that happens, some people see a neurologist.

Neurologists treat nervous system disorders. That includes problems with the brain and spinal cord. People might see a neurologist for headaches, brain infections, and seizures. Neurologists also treat patients who have had a stroke. Other common conditions they treat are multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Have you ever been to a neurologist? If so, you know it’s much like any other doctor visit. The doctor listens to the patient’s lungs and heart. They also pay attention to a patient’s movements, including walking and balance. They’ll ask a lot of questions to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

Neurologists also do special tests. These help them find out more about the patient. They use EEGs to learn about electrical activity in the brain. MRIs give them pictures of the brain and spine. Sometimes, they’ll use a spinal tap. This helps them find signs of infection. Neurologists also use blood tests to find out more about a patient’s health.

Does every headache mean you need a neurologist? No, of course not! Many people have headaches from time to time. Often, they’re nothing to worry about. But if your headaches are very painful, a family member might take you to a neurologist. Your regular doctor can also suggest a neurologist for other nervous system issues. 

Would you like to be a neurologist? It takes many years of training to practice neurology. You’ll need to go to college and then medical school. Neurologists also have a one-year internship and three years of training in neurology. That’s quite a bit of education!

Neurologists work hard to help patients feel better. Do you know anyone who sees one? How about another type of specialist? Many doctors work with specific health issues. Together, they help treat the wide range of illnesses people have.

Standards: NGSS.LS1.D, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2

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