Here we show a selected set of resources for understanding diseases affecting the central nervous system, graded by specialists in neurology and arranged to follow the curriculum shown right.


The level of the resources ranges from introductory to specialist level, according to the scale shown below right.

The neurological history

The importance of taking a good clinical history cannot be over-emphasised.킠 It is an art-form which needs practice.킠 None of these resources allow you to practice your history taking skills, but they do give pointers on how to approach taking an neurological history.

The neurological examination

Having made your diagnosis by taking a good neurological history, the neurological examination confirms your diagnosis – it rarely reveals anything unexpected.킠 A systematic approach to examining the neurological system is essential and requires practice.킠 These resources, all videos, show several different clinician’s approaches to the neuro exam.



Diagnostic tests in neurology



Inflammatory and demyelinating disorders of the nervous system

Neuroinflammatory conditions include those affecting the킠central nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis,킠neuromyelitis optica and acute disseminated킠encephalomyelitis (ADEM), and those affecting peripheral킠nerves such as Guillan Barre syndrome and chronic킠inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy. Multiple sclerosis킠is the commonest neuroinflammatory disease,킠typically affecting young adults with a relapsing킠remitting disease course, although there are also킠progressive forms of the disease. Treatment remains킠limited but recently there have been exciting developments킠in disease modifying drugs.

Infectious diseases of the nervous system

Infections of the central nervous system still represent one of the greatest challenges to physicians. Different microorganisms can present very similarly and a delay in the correct treatment can lead to a worse prognosis for the patient. For that reason it is important to recognise the different syndromes, the differential features of the main pathogens and the early empirical management. Causative agents and appropriate treatments can vary between countries, but the essentials remain the same: í¢’‚¬Å“if an infection is suspected, appropriate samples are to be obtained and empirical treatment must be started as soon as possibleí¢’‚¬.

Movement Disorders


Stroke and neurovascular disorders

Strokes can be divided into two main types: ischaemic strokes in which arteries that carry blood to the brain become blocked and haemorrhagic strokes where an artery carrying blood to the brain ruptures leading to bleeding in or around the brain (haemorrhage). 킠In developed nations stroke is a common cause of death and a leading cause of disability.


Spinal Cord Disorders

Disorders of consciousness

Curriculum by David Hunt, Clinical Lecturer in Neurology, University of Edinburgh

Section editors: Katy Murray, Consultant Neurologist, Forth Valley, UK; Mireia Moragas Garrido, Consultant Neurologist, St Johns Hospital Livingston and Western General Hospital Edinburgh, UK; Kristiina Rannikmae and Neshika Samarasekera, Neurology Registrars, Western General Hospital Edinburgh, UK;



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    help information OpenMed rates and lists good resources for learning Medicine. Browse a curriculum to see a selection, or Search (top right) to find more. See Help for more info about the why, what and how of what we are doing here.

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