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Capital & Coast DHB Neurology Service

Public Service

Description

Capital & Coast DHB Neurology services
Neurology services, which includes stroke, neurophysiology, neuropsychology and neurology outpatients has now moved into the new hospital building as part of the Clinical Measurement Unit (CMU). Please click here for a map of the CMU.

What is Neurology?
Neurology is the study of the Nervous System (brain, spinal cord and nerves), how it controls various parts of the body and the diseases and disorders that may affect it.

The brain coordinates how we think and what we do physically as well as controlling how the body manages itself.  It sends messages to, and receives information from, the rest of the body via a complex system of nerves which use chemicals and electricity to send information.
 
The Nervous System can be divided into the
  • voluntary nervous system which controls what we choose to do and the
  • involuntary or autonomic nervous system that controls automatic functions that we don’t have to think about.
 A medical specialist in this field is a Neurologist.  A Neurosurgeon is a surgeon who operates on parts of the nervous system.  The two specialists often work together, depending on the problem.

Consultants

Hours

Monday to Friday: 8am - 4.30pm

Referral Expectations

Neurology Outpatient Clinics 

Your GP will refer you to see a neurologist if they think you have a problem that involves the nervous system and that needs specialist help in diagnosing or treating that condition.
You will see either a neurologist or a neurology registrar (a doctor training to become a specialist and who is under supervision of a neurologist).
Waiting times for clinics range from 1 day - 6 months depending on the urgency of your condition. This is assessed from the letter or phone call we receive from your GP.
Before coming to our clinic you may be asked to undergo some tests or these tests will be arranged after your appointment with the neurologist.  These are described below in detail. 
We receive numerous referrals. Unfortunately, not all patients who are referred can be seen.  To be fair to other patients, it is not possible for individual patients who do receive appointments to be with the doctor for prolonged periods.
 
A history of your symptoms will be taken as well as a review of any medications you are on (so please bring a list of your medications including the doses and time of the day the medicines are taken).  The doctor may also review any old notes and previous problems you have had. 
You will then be examined, which may include an examination of the nervous system and any other areas that are considered relevant to your condition.  An examination of the brain and nerves may include testing your memory and concentration as well as other aspects of thinking processes.  It also involves examining how well the nerves to your head and body are working.  You may have further testing to establish the diagnosis.
 
The specialist, registrar, or house surgeon will discuss with you the possible diagnosis and what further tests or treatments are recommended.  They will correspond with your GP about your diagnosis, results of tests and a treatment plan.  You may have ongoing follow-up in our clinic or be discharged back to the care of your GP. 
 
As part of the neurology team we have clinical physiologists and a neuropsychologist who are expert in assessing different functions of the brain or nervous system.  Their assessment may be requested to help the neurologist make a diagnosis or to help plan treatment.
 
You may also be referred to a physiotherapist, or occupational therapist.  A physiotherapist provides physical therapy to assist with any disability you have.  An occupational therapist reviews what equipment/advice will assist in activities of daily living if you have a disability. 
 
In some cases you may require admission to hospital for treatment or testing. 

Common Conditions / Procedures / Treatments

  • Epilepsy

    Epilepsy is a condition where people have seizures or ‘fits’.  Seizures may present in many forms but are due to bursts of electrical activity within the brain.   The problem can be with the electricity of the brain on its own or due to some underlying structural lesion of the brain.… More

  • Parkinson's Disease

    Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain characterised by shaking (tremor), slowing of movement and difficulty with walking and coordination.… More

  • Headaches/Migraines

    Most headaches are not due to significant underlying problems but you may be referred if your GP is worried about the nature of your headaches or you are having difficulty controlling them with standard treatment.… More

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

    Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease involving the brain and spinal cord.  It occurs over time in multiple sites in these two areas of the nervous system.… More

  • Motor Neurone Disease (MND)

    This refers to a group of progressive disorders where there is destruction of motor neurones (the nerves that control voluntary muscle activity such as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing.)  Symptoms include: gradual weakening, shrinking of muscles and uncontrollable twitching of the muscles.  Sensation, memory and personality are not affected.… More

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)

    An EEG is a test to detect abnormalities in the electrical activity of the brain. … More

  • Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)

    NCS are tests of the speed of conduction of impulses through a nerve.  A doctor or technician performs the tests, sometimes with the help of a nurse.… More PDF

  • Electromyography (EMG)

    EMG is a test that assesses disorders of muscles and the nerves controlling them.… More PDF

  • Lumbar Puncture (LP)

    Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) is the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.  It is often helpful when diagnosing certain conditions to examine this fluid for cells and chemicals/proteins.  A lumbar puncture allows the doctor to examine the content and pressure of this fluid.… More

  • Radiology


    Computer Tomography (CT)
    A CT image is created by using an X-ray beam, which is sent through the body from different angles giving cross-sectional images of the body.… More

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Contact Details

Phone (04) 806 0992 - Booking Centre
Please call this number if you wish to enquire about an appointment

Wellington Hospital
Riddiford Street
Newtown
Wellington 6021

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Street Address

Wellington Hospital
Riddiford Street
Newtown
Wellington 6021

Postal Address

Wellington Hospital
Private Bag 7902
Wellington South

This page was last updated at 10:40AM on August 5, 2014. This information is reviewed and edited by Capital & Coast DHB Neurology Service.