Neurocritical care or neurointensive care is a branch of medicine that emerged in the 1980s and deals with life-threatening diseases of the nervous system, which are those that involve the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The doctors who practice this type of medicine are called neurointensivists, and can have medical training in many fields, including neurology, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, or neurosurgery. Common diseases treated in neurointensive care units include strokes, ruptured aneurysms, brain and spinal cord injury from trauma, seizures (especially those that last for a long period of time- status epilepticus, and/or involve trauma to the patient, i.e., due to a stroke or a fall), swelling of the brain (intracranial edema), infections of the brain (encephalitis) and the brains or spines meninges (meningitis), brain tumors (especially malignant cases; with neurological oncology), and weakness of the muscles required to breathe (such as the diaphragm).
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