Here's a question that is bound to be controversial but is not intended as such.
Do we really know anything at all about the brain? Is neurology really a science?
I'm an epileptic patient and have had three brain surgeries. Fortunately, these were successful and I no longer have seizures. But throughout my tenure(s) in the hospital(s) and during all of my testing/etc, I heard the same story: We know little about the brain, neurology is an inexact science. In fact, this book by Katrina Firlik:
says that brain surgery is just a matter of "open the head, stir it up, hope all goes well." Not like the heart- you have a blocked artery? We'll do a bypass and as long as there are no complications, you'll be up and about.
I know about the tests that we have. I've had all of them performed on me many times. fMRI, MRI, CAT scans, PET scans, and, most importantly, EEGs. But, we see the electrical impulses and have no idea what they mean. For example, at one point I had three separate neurologists reading the same EEG, one telling me my seizures are in the frontal lobe, the second telling me they are in the left temporal lobe, and the third telling me they are in the right temporal lobe. MRI readings are better, but not really by much in my experience.
And then there is the matter of the medicine that is prescribed. I always hear, when I am put on a new medicine, "I hope this works, it might not." I have other medical problems in addition to my neurological problems and I don't hear this from any other doctor. And nobody agrees on the correct medicine or dosage. It's not like a dermatologist- this regimen for this type of acne.
So, I guess that my experiences have convinced me that neurology is a matter of guess, check, and wishful thinking. I have been lucky that it has worked but I have met many other people who have not been so lucky.
Is neurology a science? Do I have legitimate reason to doubt?