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Department of NeurologyHead of Department

Professor AI Bhigjee

Neurology was established as a separate discipline within the Department of the Medicine at the end of 1984. The first Head of the department was Professor P L A Bill who did his neurology training in the UK as well as in what was previously known as the Transvaal. Professor Bill retired at the end of March 2003. The clinical section of the Department was based at Wentworth Hospital on the Bluff. With the establishment of the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital as a tertiary/quaternary referral centre, we relocated to this hospital on the 7th of December 2002. Whilst the name of Nelson Mandela is internationally well known, some individuals may not know who Albert Luthuli was. Chief Albert Luthuli, after whom the hospital is named, was a Zulu and a leading ANC figure who played an important role in the struggle against apartheid. He was imprisoned and banned several times during his life. Albert Luthuli was a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and died in a train accident under mysterious circumstances.

Clinical Service

At Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, the Department has 30 inpatient beds. We are in the process of establishing a 2-bed epilepsy monitoring unit with a view to assessing patients for epilepsy surgery. A general neurology outpatient clinic is held every Tuesday where 100-150 patients are seen. Epilepsy clinics are held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month where approximately 80-100 patients are seen. Professor Bill runs a neuromuscular clinic on the first and third Thursday of the month. Dr Patel runs the Botulinum clinic on the third Thursday of the month. The neurophysiology section of the sub-department of Neurology provides routine EEG service, EMG and nerve conduction studies, evoked potential studies and transcranial doppler studies. Approximately 2000 EEGs, 750 EMG and nerve conduction studies, 48 evoked potentials and 1200 TCDs are done annually.

The function of the neurology department is to evaluate, manage, investigate, and treat patients with neurological conditions referred from hospitals or specialists in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The following broad groups of conditions are seen by neurologists, through its inpatient and outpatient services:

  • Epilepsy
  • Infections of the brain and spinal cord
  • Strokes
  • Spinal cord diseases
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Movement disorders
  • Headache
  • Conditions affecting muscles
  • Conditions affecting peripheral nerves
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • AIDS and the nervous system
  • Conditions altering the immune system and having an effect on the brain
  • Genetic conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves.

The Clinical Neurophysiology section offers a range of specialised tests for diagnosing neurological illnesses, including the following:

  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked potentials
  • Epilepsy monitoring
  • Electromyography and electroneurography
  • Transcranial doppler studies

The neuroscience Laboratory carries out the following functions:

  • DNA testing and immunocytochemistry for diagnosis of muscular dystrophy
  • Testing for oligoclonal bands in spinal fluid for multiple sclerosis
  • DNA testing for Huntington’s disease
  • Testing for malignant hyperthermia


The unit is actively involved in both undergraduate and post graduate teaching.


  • Lectures 3rd and 4th year
  • Bedside tutorials: 3rd, 4th and final year students
  • Teaching ward rounds: Daily ward rounds and a Grand Round on a Friday
  • Teaching at the Neurology clinics


  • Neurology Journal Club : Mondays
  • Academic meeting on Friday mornings
  • Bedside tutorials on a daily basis


Full-Time Academic Staff

  • Prof Ahmed Bhigjee
  • Prof Pierre Bill
  • Dr Hoosain Paruk
  • Dr Vinod Patel

Technical Staff

  • Mr L Marais
  • Ms L Brijlal
  • Ms P Nkuna
  • Ms D Gounden 

Support Staff

  • Ms V Pillay


Contact Us

Physical Address Postal Address
Department of Neurology
Block D, 3rd Floor
Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital
800 Bellair Road
Department of Neurology
Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital
Private Bag X03

Tel:  +27 (0)31 240 2359/2362