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Your neurologist can understand a great deal about your condition just by discussing your symptoms, reviewing your medical history, and examining your reflexes, cognitive functions, and senses.  Often, however, diagnostic tests are the best way to rule out or confirm a specific diagnosis.  We offer a wide range of neurological tests to assess your condition and ensure effective treatment.

Preparing for diagnostic tests

If we recommend a diagnostic test for you, we will explain how the test is conducted, what to expect, and what if anything you need to do to prepare.  Educational materials and permission forms will be supplied to you in advance.

Diagnostic tests that we can provide include:

Carotid Duplex Doppler Ultrasound (CDD)
CDD is a special kind of ultrasound technique for evaluating the speed and flow of blood through the carotid arteries on each side of the neck.  As with other ultrasound tests, a water-based gel is applied to the area being examined, and the technician glides a handheld transducer device over the gel to record real-time images of blood flowing through the blood vessels.  The gel is removed by the technician and the results are then evaluated.  This test is painless and non-invasive, and requires no special preparation.  It is usually completed within 30 to 45 minutes.
Electroencephalogram (EEG)An EEG is a simple, painless test that measures and records the electrical activity of the brain.  Usually, the test is conducted while the patient is awake and the only preparation required is the avoidance of alcohol and caffeine on the day of the test.  To conduct the test, 20-25 electrodes are placed on the scalp and 2 are placed on the upper chest, adhered with a washable paste.   The patient must lie still and relax, and may be asked to breathe rapidly for a few minutes.  The entire procedure can take up to an hour.
Electromyogram (EMG)An EMG is used to detect electrical potential in muscle cells.   In the first part of the test, surface electrodes are applied to the arms and/or legs and electrical pulses that feel like small static shocks are sent through to stimulate the nerves.  It is advised that no moisturizing creams be used to avoid delays caused by poor electrode adhesion.  For the second part of the test, 5-10 very fine wire disposable electrodes (much smaller than regular needles) are inserted into the muscles in order to measure the electrical activity of the nerves.   Altogether, the EMG usually takes 45-60 minutes and causes only minor discomfort.  The results are usually available within 48 hours.
Printable Patient Information on Electromyography (EMG)
Lumbar Puncture
The lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap, is a procedure to collect and/or measure the pressure of spinal fluid.  Blood tests must be performed within 2 months prior to the procedure, and it is important to be well hydrated on the day of the test.  A local anesthetic is injected between two vertebrae of the lower back, which usually causes a stinging sensation.  When the anesthetic takes effect, a special needle is used to remove a small amount of fluid from the spinal sac.  Most patients feel a sensation of pressure when the needle is inserted.  The patient will need to remain at the hospital for 4-5 hours following the procedure, and will not be able to drive.
Printalbe Patient Instructions for Lumbar Puncture
Trans-Cranial Doppler (TCD)
A TCD uses harmless ultrasound waves to measure the speed at which blood flows through the arteries in the brain and to create an image of that blood flow. A cool gel is applied to a few areas of the scalp and a handheld microphone-shaped transducer device is glided over the areas to produce the image.  The ultrasound waves cannot be felt or heard, yet the sound of blood rushing through the brain may be audible.  This test is completely painless, requires no special preparation, and takes about 45-60 minutes, including the time it takes for the gel to be removed.
TCDpreview

Referred Diagnostic Testing:


Other Scans, Sleep Studies, X-Rays, and Lab tests:
Other tests we may recommend for our patients will be referred to our trusted partner providers, based on insurance requirements.  Such tests include: Computerized Tomography (CT), Computer-Assisted Tomography (CAT), or Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans; Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI); Sleep studies and Polysomnograms; X-rays; Fluoroscopy; Myelograms; Angiograms; and Lab tests.

 

For more information about these, or any other diagnostic neurological tests that we may offer, please call our office at 215-938-7730.

 

 

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