Neurological symptoms can be challenging to interpret and hard to replicate in a physician's office. At Middlesex Health, our specialized neurodiagnostic lab is equipped with advanced technology that allows us to study your nervous system's electrical activity and interpret your neurological symptoms.
We use results from these tests to provide insight into a patient's condition and to assist our Neurologists in developing an individualized treatment plan for each patient.
The main test performed at our neurodiagnostic center is the electroencephalography (EEG). During this test, dozens of tiny metal disks connected to a computer record your brain waves. Changes in your brain waves can help doctors diagnose neurological problems related to epilepsy, stroke, brain injury and more.
- Acute Aphasia
- Syncopal episodes
- New onset Seizures
- Abnormal movement while awake or asleep
- Headaches with focal sensory or motor change deficits
- Dementia with worsening cognitive or behavioral symptoms
- Please avoid consuming any food or drinks containing caffeine for 8 hours prior to having a routine EEG.
- Wash your hair the night before or the day of the test, but don't use any Hair Products. Hair products can make it harder for the sticky patches that hold the electrodes to adhere to your scalp.
- If you're supposed to sleep during your EEG, your health care provider might ask you to sleep less or avoid sleep the night before your EEG.
You'll feel little or no discomfort during an EEG. The electrodes don't transmit any sensations. They just record your brain waves.
Here are some things you can expect to happen during an EEG:
- A technician measures your head and marks your scalp with a special pencil or marker to indicate where to attach the electrodes. These spots on your scalp will be scrubbed with a gritty cream to improve the quality of the recording.
- A technician attaches discs (electrodes) to your scalp using a special conductive paste.. The electrodes are connected with wires to an instrument that amplifies the brain waves and records them on computer equipment. Once the electrodes are in place, an EEG typically takes between 25 and 40 minutes. Testing for certain conditions requires you to sleep during the test. In that case, the test can be longer.
- You relax in a comfortable position with your eyes closed during the test. At various times, the technician might ask you to open and close your eyes, perform a few simple calculations , read a paragraph, look at a picture, breathe deeply for a few minutes, or look at a flashing light.
- Video is routinely recorded during the EEG. Your body motions are captured by a video camera while the EEG records your brain waves. This combined recording can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition.
Nerve Conduction Studies & Electromyography (EMG)
Before you have a nerve conduction study, you should:
- Bathe or shower and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
- Avoid putting on any skin products or perfume.
- Tell the provider performing the study if you have a pacemaker or any other electrical medical device.
Nerve conduction studies are generally safe. Although the electrical stimulation may startle you initially, it shouldn’t be painful. The shock feels similar to a shock you experience from static electricity, or it may feel like a mild tingling. Most people can complete the test without issues.
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