Diagnosing and understanding your child’s neurologic issues may call for one or more neurodiagnostic tests. We believe it is important for you to be familiar with the procedures, understand the results and know what the tests can and cannot tell you. Listed below are some of the common neurodiagnostics we perform with most of them done in the convenience and comfort of our office. If you have any questions about the preparation, procedure or interpretation of your tests please ask your provider or one of our staff.
TESTS DONE IN OUR OFFICE
Routine Electroencephalogram (EEG)
The EEG is a non-invasive test which involves placing wires with electrodes on the scalp to measure brain waves. In this setting, it is used primarily to assess for the possibility that your child may be prone to seizures. It is important to understand that the results of the EEG are rarely diagnostic by themselves but rather is just one of many pieces of information your provider will use to make a diagnosis. For more information, please visit: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003931.htm
Your provider may utilize one or more assessments or rating scales to aid in the identification and diagnosis of various conditions including ADHD, autism, Asperger’s syndrome or dyslexia. These usually consist of a short questionnaire to be filled out by people familiar with your child, usually parents and/or teachers. If your provider feels that a more extensive assessment is necessary, they may refer your child for a full neurodevelopment screening.
Long Term Video EEG
In some cases, your provider may feel it necessary to perform a more extensive EEG evaluation and will order a long term video EEG. This is similar to the routine EEG except that a stronger glue is used to keep the electrodes in place and simultaneous video monitoring is typically done. In the majority of cases this test may be done at your home (ambulatory) although if there are concerns that more supervision or sedation will be required, it may be done in the hospital. Often, the goal is to “capture” an event which is suspected to be a seizure. For this reason, it is important to stay with your child during the entire test in order to identify and document any “events”. Your child will be free to move around, however, unless otherwise instructed, do not plan to go out for activities or school during the duration of the test. For more information, please visit: http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/diagnosis/eeg/video-eeg
Polysomnography (Sleep Study)
For children who are suspected of having certain sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, periodic limb movment disorders or awakenings whose cause is unknown, your provider may order an overnight sleep study. This is usually done in the office beginning in the early evening and ending the next morning. If a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) is ordered, the test will continue for most of the next day as well. The test involves monitoring of brain waves, eye movements, nasal air flow, snoring, breathing effort and limb movements using various tranducers and electrodes. If seizures are a possibility, a full set of EEG electrodes may also be placed. For more information, please visit: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003932.htm
TESTS NOT DONE IN OUR OFFICE
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI creates high resolution 3-dimensional images of the brain, body or blood vessels utilizing magnetic fields rather than radiation making them relatively safer than CT scans. Unlike CT scans, however, they take longer and the patient must remain very still and therefore are much more likely to require sedation for younger or uncooperative patients. For this reason, they are not as often used in emergency settings. If your child will require sedation, make sure you familiarize yourself with the instructions on how to prepare for the test.
Electromyogram (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Testing
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