Neurology deals with disorders of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Often these disorders are the cause of discomfort in the head, neck, and back. Other neurological disorders may also be treated. Neurological disorders are studied and diagnosed through specific testing. PMA physicians are equipped to perform the following neurological tests:
- Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Test (EMG)
- Electronencephalography (EEG)
- Videonystagmography (VNG)
- Infusion Therapy
- Doppler Interpretations
EMG / NCV Exams (Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Velocity Studies)
AMG and NCV exams are used to detect nerve injuries and disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerves in the back or neck, and generalized nerve injuries or muscle disease. The PMA physicians who perform these tests are experts in electrodiagnostics.
The test consists of two parts. For the Electromyography portion, a small needle is inserted into the muscle. The PMA physician studies the electrical signals traveling to the EMG machine. For the Nerve Conduction Study, a series of small electrical shocks are applied to the nerve to determine how the body’s electrical signals are traveling to the nerves.
PMA physicians are highly skilled in interpreting and communicating the data from these tests. They and their staff also make the experience as comfortable as possible for the patient.
Routine EEG and 24-Hour EEG Exams (Electroencephalography Studies)
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test measuring and recording the electrical signals of the brain. Sensors are applied to the scalp and attached to a computer to record the brain’s electrical activity. EEG’s can be used to…
- Diagnose epilepsy and/or seizures
- Detect loss of consciousness or dementia
- Determine outcomes for recovery after change in consciousness
- Study sleep disorders
- Monitor brain activity while a patient is under general anesthesia
- Detect mental health problems
Twenty-four hour EEG exams record brain activity over the course of 24 hours using a small recording device worn around the waist. The recording device is attached to sensors on the patient’s head similar to a routine EEG exam. The majority of the test is conducted while the patient is at home. During the test, the patient is also given a diary to record activities and any symptoms that occur.
VNG Exams (Videonystagmography Studies)
This is a test to study and diagnose patients with vertigo or dizziness. Instead of using electrodes attached to the patient’s head, VNG involves a series of noninvasive tests and exercises that ultimately give the doctor a more accurate reading. Exercises include the following:
- Calibration Test: The patient follows a moving light 6 to 10 feet away. The test measures the accuracy with which the patient’s eyes follow the light.
- Gaze Nystagmus Test: The patient stares at a fixed light while seated or lying down. The test measures the patient’s ability to fix his or her gaze on an object and the amount of involuntary eye movement.
- Pendulum Tracking Test: The patient follows a light as it moves like a pendulum clock and their ability to track it is recorded.
- Optikinetics Test: The patient keeps their head still as they follow a light moving quickly in and out of their field of vision.
- Positional Test: The patient’s eye motion is recorded as he or she moves his or her head or entire body. The amount of eye motion is recorded.
- Air Caloric Test: Warm or cool air is introduced to the ear canal and the amount of reactionary eye movement is recorded.
Infusion therapy is prescribed when the patient requires more effective treatment than oral medications can provide. With infusion therapy, the medication is administered intravenously, either through a needle or a catheter. In some cases the drug may be provided through intramuscular or epidural (membranes surrounding the spinal cord) injections.
Infections and diseases requiring infusion therapy are varied. They included cancer, congestive heart failure, Crohn’s Disease, dehydration, hemophilia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and others.
Neurology consultations are designed to determine the cause of neurological problems. During a consultation, PMA’s neurologist will create a full medical history of the patient and perform a neurological examination that may include the following:
- Cerebellar testing: checks coordination
- Cranial examination: checks eye and facial movements
- Mental examination: checks memory
- Motor examination: checks mobility, muscle strength, and reflexes