Neurological Testing

At Long Island Neurology Consultants, we perform a wide range of neurological testing at our Lynbrook and Hewlett offices to help speed the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of neurological conditions.

NEUROLOGICAL TESTING INCLUDES:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a highly sensitive testing modality that utilizes a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to image the human body. MRI can provide different and at times more specific information about the nervous system and other organs than other modalities including computer tomography (CT), X-ray, and ultrasound.

    During an MRI examination, the area of the body being imaged is placed in a machine that contains a powerful magnet. The digital images from the MRI scan are sent to a computer for interpretation. In some cases, a contrast called gadolinium may be used during the MRI scan to obtain further information. Patients with certain metallic objects or devices in their body (i.e. pacemaker) may be ineligible to have this examination. This should be discussed with the doctor.

    For more information on MRI and how to prepare for it, click here.
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is a highly sensitive testing modality that utilizes a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to image blood vessels. MRA can provide different information about the vascular system than other modalities including computer tomography (CT), X-ray, and ultrasound and at times can be used in conjunction with these other testing modalities. MRA can be used to identify vascular problems including arterial and venous blockages, aneurysms, arterial malformations, as well as injuries to the blood vessel walls (dissections). For more information on MRA and how to prepare for it, click here.
  • An Electroencephalogram (EEG) records the electrical activity of the brain. Highly sensitive monitoring equipment records the activity through electrodes that are placed at measured intervals on the patient’s scalp. The test is not painful. The head is measured and the electrodes are placed on the scalp with a paste-like substance. The test itself usually takes thirty to forty-five (30- 45) minutes. The principal role of the patient is simply to remain still, relaxed and comfortable. During the test, the patient may be asked to take repeated deep breaths (hyperventilate). This activity can help reveal different brain patterns useful for diagnosis.

    In some cases you may be asked to sleep less the night before, if your physician requests to observe brain patterns that occur during sleep.

    EEGs assist physicians in the diagnosis of a variety of neurological problems from common headaches and dizziness to seizure disorders, strokes and degenerative brain diseases. For more information on EEG and how to prepare for it, click here.
  • Electromyography/Nerve Conduction Velocities (EMG/NCV) Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them. Motor neurons transmit electrical signals that cause muscles to contract. An EMG translates these signals into graphs, sounds or numerical values that a specialist interprets. 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 study, another part of an EMG, uses electrodes taped to the skin (surface electrodes) to measure the speed and strength of signals traveling between two or more points.

    An EMG can reveal nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction or problems with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission. EMG results are often necessary to help diagnose or rule out conditions such as: Muscle Disorders, diseases affecting the connection between the nerve root and the muscle, disorders of the nerves outside of the spinal cord, and disorders that affect the nerve root:
    • Muscular Dystrophy
    • Herniated Disc
    • Peripheral Neuropathies
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Myasthenia Gravis
    For more information on EMG and how to prepare for it, click here.
  • Carotid Doppler is an ultrasound procedure to evaluate the carotid arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain. The exam in non-evasive and consists of the patient lying down on a bed (not enclosed in a machine.) The technologist will apply gel to a flat probe and move the probe up and down on the neck, taking images along the way. This procedure takes approximately fifteen to thirty minutes. For more information on this exam and how to prepare for it, click here.
  • Transcranial Doppler, Embolic Screening/Vaso Reactivity Study is an ultrasound procedure to evaluate the blood vessels in the brain. This exam is non-invasive and consists of the patient lying down on a bed. The technologist will apply gel to a small, flat probe and will place that on the patient’s eyelids, the temple area and the back of the neck. Women may want to forego eye makeup as the gel will remove any makeup. This procedure also takes approximately fifteen to thirty minutes.

    There is no need to fast for either exam. Medications can and should be taken. They will not affect the outcome of the test. Hearing aids, contact lenses, cataracts will not affect test results. There are no adverse effects from either of these tests. Patients will be able to leave the lab without assistance and return to their usual activities. For more information on this exam and how to prepare for it, click here.
  • The Evoked Potential (EP) is a recording of electrical activity from the brain, spinal nerves or sensory receptors in response to specific external stimulation. Electrodes are applied to the scalp and other areas of the body, a series of stimuli is introduced, and a computer records the neurological responses. Hundreds of responses are received, amplified and averaged by a computer. The final response is plotted on a graph and interpreted looking for particular waveforms and the time it takes for them to occur.

    Evoked potentials are helpful in evaluating a number of different neurological problems including spinal cord injuries, acoustic neuroma and optic neuritis. Each type of EP looks at a different neurological pathway. The most common types are listed.
    • Auditory. – The BAER assists in evaluating the auditory nerve pathways from the ears through the brainstem. Earphones deliver a series of clicks and tones to each ear separately.
    • Visual. – VEPs evaluate the visual nervous system from the eyes to the occipital (visual) cortex of the brain. The patient is usually asked to stare at a pattern on a video screen while remaining fully alert. Each eye is tested separately.
    • Somatosensory. – Upper and Lower - SSEPs assess pathways from nerves in the arms or legs, through the spinal cord to the brainstem or cerebral cortex. A small electrical current is applied to the skin overlying nerves on the arms or legs. The current creates a tingling sensation but is not painful. Each leg or arm is tested separately.
    For more information on this exam and how to prepare for it, click here.
  • Video Electronystagmography, an assessment of dizziness and balance disorders that helps determine if symptoms are peripheral or of central origin. There is a slight chance that you might become dizzy or nauseated for a short time during or after the assessment, which is performed in our Lynbrook office only. If possible, you should try to have someone available to drive you home if necessary. For more information on this exam and how to prepare for it, click here.
  • Neurotrax Braincare Cognitive Testing, a computerized test to assess whether you have any cognitive impairment caused by your medical/neurological conditions. The person being tested responds to the questions shown on the computer monitor screen by either selecting numbers on a keyboard.

    It offers the highest degree of precision in assessing all cognitive impairment levels, mild to severe. The test is very patient-friendly and requires little orientation. Although the test is performed on a computer, it does not require the patient to know how to use one. Testing time ranges from 40 to 75 minutes, depending on the tests chosen.

    What Is Assessed?
    • Orientation
    • Attention
    • Memory
    • Executive Function
    • Visual Spatial Perception
    • Verbal Function
    • Information
    • Processing
    For more information on this exam and how to prepare for it, click here.

Other neurological testing that may be recommended by our physicians includes: Computer Tomography (CT) scan, CT Angiography, X-Ray, Ultrasonography and Video Electroencephalogram (V-EEG).