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The development of modern neurology began in the 18th and 19th centuries. Studies were performed on animals in order to understand how the human brain functioned. Although these early studies produced some useful information, major research in the field of neurology did not begin until the end of the 19th century. Aphasia, epilepsy, and motor problems were targeted and researched. Techniques for brain mapping were also introduced in an effort to determine the locations of functional areas.

In the early 1920s, Hans Berger invented the electroencephalograph, which records the electrical activity in the brain. This achievement led to greater capabilities in diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. During the late 20th century, neurology was further advanced by computerized axial tomography (CAT scans), nuclear magnetic resonance, and neurosurgery.

By the 21st century, continued research led to better drug therapies and a clearer understanding of brain function. Results of this research have given neurologists such resources as new surgical techniques and treatments, including implanted "pacemakers" for certain types of epilepsy; they have also increased their understanding of the causes of neuropathic pain, provided new drug treatments for migraines, and discovered genetic links for certain conditions. As the field of neurology continues to grow, treatments and—in some cases—cures are being found for diseases that previously had not even been identified with a name.

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