Neuroscience and neurology are both related to the nervous system. Neuroscience and neurology are two fields advancing very rapidly with the advancements in technology. These subjects have a close connection with biology, medicine, chemistry, computer science and even mathematics. In early years, these were considered as life sciences, but currently they are considered as interdisciplinary fields. Neurology is one branch of neuroscience; the branch related to medicine.
Neuroscience is the science which studies basically anything related to the nervous system. A neuroscientist could be studying how the nervous system develops, the structure and its functions. Both the normal functioning and abnormal functioning of the nervous system such as neurological, psychiatric disorders are studied under neuroscience. Neuroscience was conventionally considered as a sub discipline of biology. However, today’s definition has changed from that due to the benefits neuroscience hold for other disciplines such as computer science and chemistry, and the interconnections this field shows with fields that one would have never guessed to connect with, such as mathematics, physics etc.
Due to the expansion of the subject, several branches are identified. Affective neuroscience studies behavior of neurons according to different emotions. Behavioral neuroscience studies biological basis of behavior. Cellular neuroscience studies cellular level functions of neurons. Clinical neuroscience, which is neurology, studies neurological and related disorders. There are also other branches such as computational neuroscience, cultural neuroscience, molecular neuroscience, neuro-engineering, neuroimaging, neurophysiology, neuroinformatics, developmental neuroscience and neurolinguistics etc.
Neurology, on the other hand, is more of a medical discipline. This medical specialty focuses on neurological disorders related to brain and nervous system. All neurological disorders could be originating from central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems. Some disorders may originate due to damaged blood vessels or muscles in close proximity with nervous system. The physician who specializes in neurology is called a neurologist, and his area of work is considered a very crucial and serious medical field of expertise. Usually a neurologist takes about 12 years of studying before establishing himself as a neurologist.
Neurology studies brain and also special conditions such as migraine, epilepsy, behavioral and cognitive disorders, brain cancers, brain damages and traumatic injuries, progressive diseases such as Huntington’s disorder and Lou Gehrig’s disease, and diseases like multiple sclerosis. Diseases in spinal cord, neuromuscular junctions are also treated by neurologists. They focus on localizing the pathology of the disease by conducting various tests. Cranial nerve tests and mental status tests are two examples for the tests carried out. Additionally they also study reflexes and coordination to understand the nature of the disease fully before treatments are initiated.
What is the difference between Neuroscience and Neurology?
• Neuroscience is the science which studies anything related to the nervous system but neurology is a medical specialty specially focusing on the diseases and disorders related to the nervous system.
• Neuroscience is a very wide discipline which has several branches but neurology is a very specialized field which is of course one of the branches of neuroscience; the branch related to medicine.