Advanced Electroneurodiagnostics at Medical City Plano
Electroneurodiagnostic technology is the study and recording of electrical activity of the brain and nervous system. Medical City Plano offers a comprehensive list of electroneurodiagnostic services, including:
24-Hour Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
Medical City Plano’s Brain & Spine Hospital offers round-the-clock monitoring for epilepsy patients in our epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU). For patients having symptoms, it’s typically a 3 to 4 day inpatient stay in our neurosciences unit.
An EEG is a test that measures and records the ongoing electrical activity of your brain. An EEG can assist in the diagnosis of a variety of neurological problems, from common headaches to migraines, altered mental status, dementia, dizziness, syncope to seizure disorders, stroke and degenerative brain disease.
The EEG is also used to determine organic causes of psychiatric symptoms and disabilities in children, helping physicians plan treatment. Medical City Plano's staff is trained with an emphasis on difficult pediatric cases, as well as Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patients.
We offer prolonged EEG monitoring at the patient's bedside. This test is accompanied by continuous video monitoring, which can record both the clinical events and the EEG recording to aid in the diagnosis of seizures and other neurological disorders. A technologist is on-call at all times to ensure the test runs smoothly, and we collect at least 24 hours of data, depending on patient needs.
Ambulatory (Outpatient) Monitoring
For patients with seizures that are difficult to catch, we provide an outpatient alternative to bedside monitoring. Electrodes are applied to the patient's head, and he or she carries a portable recording box while going about day-to-day activities.
The patient records any seizures by writing in a diary and by pressing a special button on the recording box. Every 24 hours, the patient checks in at Medical City Plano so we can analyze the data. Ambulatory monitoring typically lasts 24 to 72 hours.
Our EEG lab received accreditation from the Laboratory Accreditation Board of the American Board of Accreditation of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET). We were the second neurology lab in Texas to earn this rating.
Electromyogram (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies
An electromyogram (EMG) measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction. Nerve conduction studies measure how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals. Nerves control the muscles in the body by electrical signals (impulses), and these impulses make the muscles react in specific ways. Nerve and muscle disorders cause the muscles to react in abnormal ways.
Measuring the electrical activity in muscles and nerves can help find diseases that damage muscle tissue (such as muscular dystrophy) or nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or peripheral neuropathy). EMG and nerve conduction studies are often done together to give more complete information.
An EMG helps physicians to:
- Find diseases that damage muscle tissue, nerves, or the junctions between nerve and muscle. These disorders may include a herniated disc, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or myasthenia gravis (MG).
- Find the cause of weakness, paralysis or muscle twitching. Problems in a muscle, the nerves supplying a muscle, the spinal cord, or the area of the brain that controls a muscle can cause these symptoms. The EMG does not show brain or spinal cord diseases.
Nerve conduction studies help physicians to:
- Find damage to the peripheral nervous system, which includes all the nerves that lead away from the brain and spinal cord and the smaller nerves that branch out from those nerves. Nerve conduction studies are often used to help find nerve disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Both EMG and nerve conduction studies can help diagnose a condition called post-polio syndrome that may develop months to years after a person has had polio.
Evoked Potential (EP)
Also called "evoked response," an evoked potential is a recording of electrical activity from the brain, spinal nerves or sensory receptors that occurs in direct response to external stimuli. EP waveforms require sophisticated computer equipment to extract data that will allow physicians to determine the functional state of these pathways.
This test is commonly performed before, during and after surgery on the spine to help the surgeon make sure nerves are not damaged during the operation. EPs are also performed in a clinical electroneurodiagnostic lab, using either earphones to stimulate the hearing pathway, a checkerboard pattern on a TV screen to stimulate the visual pathway, or a small electrical current to stimulate a nerve in the arm or leg for multiple sclerosis, acoustic neuromas, peripheral neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, tumors, optic neuritis and tinnitus.
Used to monitor the functional integrity of parts of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves during surgery. Patients having surgery on arteries in the neck or around the heart often undergo electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring, providing the surgeon with additional information about brain function. In addition, evoked potentials (EPs) are sometimes used to assess nerve function during surgical procedures involving the spinal cord or brain.