What Is It?
Analyzes and monitors nervous system function to promote the effective treatment of neurological diseases and conditions. Technologists record electrical activity arising from the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves using a variety of techniques and instruments.
The most common END procedures are the electroencephalogram, long-term monitoring, intraoperative neuromonitoring, the evoked potential studies, and nerve conduction studies. The electroencephalogram (EEG) is the most frequently performed procedure.
In conducting an EEG, highly sensitive monitoring equipment records the activity through electrodes that are placed at measured intervals on a patient's scalp. The test is not painful. The test itself usually takes about 90 minutes and the principal role of the patient is simply to remain still, relaxed and comfortable. During the test, the patient may be asked to take repeated deep breaths [hyperventilate] and/or be shown a strobe light that flashes at different speeds. It is very helpful to record sleep, so the patient may be asked to stay awake extra hours the night before the test. All of these activities can help reveal different brain patterns that are useful for diagnosis.
Evoked Potentials [EP] - Record electrical activity in response to stimulation
Evoked Potentials [EP] are recordings of electrical activity from the brain, spinal nerves, or sensory receptors in response to specific external stimulation. Evoked potentials are helpful in evaluating a number of different neurological problems, including spinal cord injuries, hearing loss, blurred vision and blind spots, acoustic neuroma, and optic neuritis. Evoked potentials are performed in clinical END laboratory, using either earphones to stimulate the hearing pathway, a checkerboard pattern on a television screen to stimulate the visual pathway, or a small electrical current to stimulate a nerve in the arm or leg.
EMG----Electromyography & NCS-Nerve Conduction Studies
EMG and NCS are used to diagnose:
- Pinched nerves and inflamed muscles due to injury, a ruptured disk, disease or other conditions
- Carpal tunnel syndrome pressure on a major nerve, causing pain in the wrist or hand
- Primary muscle disorder such as muscular dystrophy (a disease that causes certain muscles to waste away) Neuromuscular disorders such as myasthenia gravis (a defect in nerve impulses which causes chronic muscle weakness)
- Nerve disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease)
Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)* are special test used to detect neuromuscular disorders (nerve and muscle problems).
EMG can measure the electrical activity of muscles. This test is performed by a Neurologist in our Lab.
Nerve Conduction Studies [NCS] evaluate electrical potentials from peripheral nerves. Technologists stimulate the nerve with an electrical current and then record how long it takes the nerve impulse to reach the muscle. Patients referred for NCS tests suffer from nerve conditions which produce numbness, tingling, muscle pain, muscle weakness, muscle cramping, abnormal movement, pain or loss of sensation, or neurological disease affecting primarily the feet, leg, hands, arms, back, and neck.
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