EEG Epilepsy Monitoring.   EEG is the name commonly used for electroencephalography, an important test for diagnosing and managing epilepsy.  It is safe and painless.  Electrodes are attached to a patient’s scalp to record information about the electrical activity of the brain and possible causes of seizures. This information is put together with how the patient is feeling and how the seizures may be affecting the way the brain works.  

Electromyography (EMG)/Nerve Conduction Test.   Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons).  An EMG uses tiny devices called electrodes to transmit or detect electrical signals. During a needle EMG, a needle electrode inserted directly into a muscle records the electrical activity in that muscle.   A nerve conduction test, another part of an EMG, uses surface electrodes — electrodes taped to the skin — to measure the speed and strength of signals traveling between two or more points.    

Your doctor may order an EMG if you have signs or symptoms that may indicate a nerve or muscle disorder.  EMG results are often necessary to help diagnose or rule out a number of conditions, such as:

  • Muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy or polymyositis
  • Diseases affecting the connection between the nerve and the muscle, such as myasthenia gravis
  • Disorders of nerves outside the spinal cord (peripheral nerves), such as carpal tunnel syndrome or peripheral neuropathies
  • Disorders that affect the motor neurons in the brain or spinal cord, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or a herniated disk in the spine

Evoked Potential Test.  An evoked potential test measures the time it takes for nerves to respond to stimulation. The size of the response is also measured. Nerves from different areas of the body may be tested.  Types of responses are:

  • Visual evoked response or potential (VER or VEP), which is when the eyes are stimulated by looking at a test pattern.
  • Auditory brain stem evoked response or potential (ABER or ABEP), which is when hearing is stimulated by listening to a test tone.
  • Somatosensory evoked response or potential (SSER or SSEP), which is when the nerves of the arms and legs are stimulated by an electrical pulse.

Each type of response is recorded from brain waves by using electrodes taped to the head. The visual evoked response (VER) is the most commonly used evoked potential test in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS).   It may be used when MS is suspected and a neurological examination alone does not provide enough evidence.

Sleep Studies.  The TRMC Sleep Center utilizes polysomnography to diagnose and determine the severity of sleep apnea and a host of other sleep disorders. Click here to learn more.