What Is A Functional Neurologist?

Are you curious to know what is a functional neurologist? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a functional neurologist in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a functional neurologist?

In the realm of healthcare, the field of neurology stands as a cornerstone for understanding and addressing disorders of the nervous system. Within neurology, a specialized and dynamic approach known as functional neurology has emerged, offering a unique perspective on the intricacies of brain health. In this blog post, we will explore the role of a functional neurologist, their methodologies, and the significance of functional neurology in the broader landscape of healthcare.

What Is A Functional Neurologist?

Functional neurology is a branch of neuroscience that focuses on the relationship between the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the rest of the body. Unlike traditional neurology that often centers on diagnosing and treating pathology, functional neurology delves into the functional aspects of the nervous system. It seeks to understand how imbalances or dysfunctions in the nervous system can manifest as various health issues.

Key Components Of Functional Neurology:

  • Holistic Assessment:

Functional neurologists take a holistic approach to assess the entire nervous system. This involves evaluating not only the brain and spinal cord but also peripheral nerves, sensory organs, and the musculoskeletal system.

  • Neuroplasticity:

A central concept in functional neurology is neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to adapt and reorganize itself in response to new experiences or challenges. Functional neurologists leverage this capacity to develop targeted interventions for various neurological conditions.

  • Individualized Treatment Plans:

Functional neurology embraces the principle that each individual’s nervous system is unique. Treatment plans are tailored to address specific functional deficits or imbalances identified through detailed assessments, which may include eye movements, posture, and sensory integration.

  • Non-Invasive Therapies:

Functional neurologists often employ non-invasive therapies to stimulate specific areas of the nervous system. These may include targeted exercises, sensory stimulation, chiropractic adjustments, nutritional interventions, and other modalities designed to enhance neural function.

Conditions Addressed By Functional Neurology:

Functional neurology can be applied to a wide range of neurological and neurodegenerative conditions, including but not limited to:

  1. Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Functional neurology can play a role in the rehabilitation and recovery process for individuals who have experienced concussions or TBIs.
  2. Movement Disorders: Conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or dystonia may benefit from the targeted interventions of functional neurology to improve motor control.
  3. Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Functional neurology can be applied to address conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities.
  4. Chronic Pain Syndromes: Functional neurology explores the connection between the nervous system and chronic pain, offering non-pharmacological approaches for pain management.

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Collaboration With Other Disciplines:

Functional neurology often involves a collaborative approach with other healthcare professionals. Integrative care that combines elements of traditional medicine, physical therapy, nutritional support, and chiropractic care may provide a comprehensive strategy for addressing complex neurological issues.


In the dynamic landscape of healthcare, functional neurology stands as a testament to the evolving understanding of the nervous system and its profound impact on overall health. Functional neurologists, with their holistic and individualized approach, contribute to the development of innovative interventions that go beyond traditional models of neurological care. As research in neuroscience advances, the principles of functional neurology continue to shape the way we perceive and address neurological challenges, offering hope and solutions to those navigating the intricate world of brain health.


What Is The Difference Between Functional Neurology And Neurology?

A medical neurologist will typically use drugs or surgery to treat abnormal nerve function. A functional neurologist will typically use physical non-invasive stimuli to restore nerve function. Examples include the following: Specific eye movements: Pursuits, saccades, optokinetic reflex.

Is A Functional Neurologist A Real Doctor?

Traditional neurologists are medical doctors; functional neurologists are not, by virtue of their functional neurology training, medical doctors. If their initial degree was in traditional medicine, they may be a medical doctor; however, most functional neurologists start with a chiropractic degree.

What Do Functional Neurologists Treat?

Functional neurologists treat a wide array of conditions, including:

  • Neurodegenerative disorders: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple system atrophy, dementia.
  • Demyelinating conditions: Multiple Sclerosis, transverse myelitis, leukodystrophies.
  • Trauma and brain injuries: Concussion, whiplash.

What Is Functional Neurological?

Functional neurological disorder (FND) describes a problem with how the brain receives and sends information to the rest of the body. It’s often helpful to think of your brain as a computer. In someone who has FND, there’s no damage to the hardware, or structure, of the brain.

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