Neuropathology is the study of diseases of the eyes and of the nervous system, which includes the:
- Spinal cord
- Body's extensive nerve network
Diseases affecting the nervous system can cause:
- Vision loss
- Problems with thinking or behavior
Imaging tests like brain scans can often show doctors where these symptoms are coming from, but, in some cases, a tissue sample is necessary to diagnose a neurological disease.
The Role of the Neuropathologist
Neuropathologists are extensively trained in examining tissues of the nervous system.
They examine radiologic studies along with the tissue samples to determine whether the abnormal tissue is a tumor or whether it shows evidence of a disease that mimics a tumor.
Neuropathologists also analyze:
- Nerve tissue samples taken from elsewhere in the body to determine whether a problem with the nervous system is causing weakness and pain.
- Brain tissue samples for symptoms of:
Neuropathologists also assist in neurological research efforts that use tissue samples to understand these diseases.
Learn more about neuropathology from the Department of Pathology.