Neurology and clinical neurophysiology: an artificial divide

The editors of Practical Neurology ask a reasonable question: who is best placed to oversee the neurophysiological investigation of patients presenting with neurological symptoms? Before considering the complexities of this seemingly straightforward question, it is accepted at the outset that any physician or technician could be trained to follow a testing proforma based on a symptom, or constellation of symptoms. So, the question does not relate to an issue of capability, nor should it relate to capacity. Rather, it would seem logical to consider how the best outcome can be achieved—that is, to diagnose the cause that underlies a patient’s symptoms.

Clinical neurophysiology forms part of a neurologist’s array of instruments and tests that, carefully coordinated, yields the most rewarding and sometimes surprising results. At its simplest level, it represents a technology platform that aids the diagnosis and management of patients with neurological disease. More fundamentally, however, it is indispensable for…

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