Humboldt Neurological Medical Group
Tests We May Order
To aid in your diagnosis, it may be necessary for our physician to order one or more
diagnostic tests. Some of the more common tests ordered by a neurologist are:
CT Scan / CAT Scan Computed tomography (CT) scan, also called computerized axial
tomography (CAT) scan, is used to create cross-sectional images of structures in the body. In
this procedure, x-rays are taken from many different angles and processed through a
computer to produce a three-dimensional (3-D) image. CT scan is a noninvasive procedure
and is usually performed on an outpatient basis (i.e., does not require overnight
hospitalization). The amount of radiation used in a CT scan is low, and the procedure is
considered to be safe.
EEG An electroencephalogram (EEG or brain wave test) is a noninvasive procedure used
to detect and record brain cell activity. The test is performed by placing several small
electrodes to various places on the scalp. EEGs are performed by our registered technologists
at St. Joseph hospital. Click here to review the instructions for the procedure.
EMG An electromyogram is a neurodiagnostic test used to assess the health and function
of the muscles and the nerves that control the muscles. It can be used to determine whether
muscle weakness and loss of muscle strength are caused by a muscle injury or by an
underlying neurological disorder. The test is done by inserting very fine needle electrodes into
various muscles while the physician records the activity.
MRI Scan Magnetic resonance imaging uses a powerful magnet combined with radio
waves to examine organs, soft tissues, and skeletal structures. MRI scans are especially
valuable in finding brain and spinal cord abnormalities. They may also be used to help
diagnose torn ligaments, tumors, circulation (blood flow) problems, inflammation (e.g.,
arthritis), and infection.
NCV A nerve conduction study is a neurodiagnostic test used to assess the health and
function of the nerves that control the muscles. It can be used to determine whether muscle
weakness, loss of muscle strength, numbness and tingling are caused by nerve injury or by
an underlying neurological disorder.
LP / Lumbar Puncture, also known as a spinal tap or lumbar puncture, involves inserting
a needle into the lower back (the lumbar area of the spine) and collecting some cerebrospinal
fluid. The fluid is then sent to a lab where it is examined under a microscope.
Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions by exposing
part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Our physician may order a
specific type of study called a Carotid Ultrasound to examine the arteries in your neck.
PSG / Polysomnogram, also known as a Sleep Study, is an overnight test to evaluate a variety of sleep disorders. The
test is done by using a variety of electrodes and monitoring devices to record brain waves, muscle activity, EKG, eye
movements and breathing patterns throughout the various stages of sleep.
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