If you have any sort of problem with your nervous system, numerous diagnostic tests can be performed to isolate the problem, allowing it to be treated correctly, in order to prevent further complications. Since your body and brain have lots of nerves, different tests may be carried out, depending on the exact nature of the problem.
It is essential that tests are carried out properly, and that the patient has patience and does everything correctly, in order to avoid a wrong diagnosis which can lead to the wrong treatment being used. The following are some of the most common tests you may undergo during a neurological analysis.
Brain scans can be used to detect a hemorrhage, malformations of blood vessels and tumors. The most common scans that can be used include: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography (CT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET).
A CT scan provides a series of two dimensional images of bones, organs and tissues. The spine and brain can be scanned and can reveal vascular and bone irregularities, some types of tumors, strokes, herniated discs, blood clots, brain damage, epilepsy, cysts, spinal stenosis and other problems.
An MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create accurate images of your nerves, bones, organs and tissues. To diagnose neurological issues, it can scan for tumors, infection, inflammation, eye disease, vascular problems that may cause a stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain injuries caused by trauma and more.
The PET scan tests for most types of cancer. It can detect heart disease and neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s. It can tell if a tumor is malignant or benign, can reveal if organs have been altered and it can detect other issues.
An Electroencephalography (EEG) test shows brain activity and can diagnose brain damage caused by injuries, tumors, some types of seizures, some mental disorders, degenerative and metabolic disorders, sleep disorders and more.
An Electromyography (EMG) shows muscle, nerve problems and diseases of the spinal cord, as it measures the amount of electrical activity to and from the spinal cord and/or brain to specific nerves.
A nerve conduction test is often done after an EMG. It stimulates specific nerves and tests the ability of the nerve to transmit impulses. This reveals if the nerve is working properly. Electrodes are used to transmit the electrical impulses needed for this test.
A Lumbar Puncture is where a doctor removes a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid from within the space that surrounds your spinal cord. The fluid undergoes tests to see if there is a brain hemorrhage or bleeding, an infection in your spinal cord or brain, multiple sclerosis and any other neurological disorders. It also measures the pressure in your brain.
These are only a few of the many possible neurological tests and procedures that can be conducted to determine what problems you may have. Many years ago, people would have died because they couldn’t find the problems, so they were unable to properly treat them. Today’s modern medicine makes our lives much easier, wouldn’t you agree?