Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery
About the Nervous System
What are some diagnostic tests for nervous system disorders?
Evaluating and diagnosing damage to the nervous system is complicated and complex.
Many of the same symptoms occur in different combinations among the different
disorders. To further complicate the diagnostic process, many disorders do not
have definitive causes, markers, or tests.
Neurological tests to evaluate patients may include:
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- computerized tomography (CT ) or computer assisted tomography (CAT) scans
-- forms of radiology or imaging that use computers to construct two-dimensional
pictures of selected parts of the body. Dye may be injected into a vein to
obtain a better picture.
- electroencephalogram (EEG) -- a procedure that records the brain's
continuous electrical activity by means of electrodes attached to the scalp.
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) -- an advanced method of imaging
the brain using a very strong magnet, without radiation.
- electromyogram (EMG) -- a procedure that measures and records electrical
activity from the muscles and nerves with mild electrical shocks to stimulate
- arteriogram (angiogram) -- a procedure that provides a scan of arteries
going to and through the brain.
- cerebral spinal fluid analysis (spinal tap) -- a procedure used to
make an evaluation or diagnosis by examining the fluid withdrawn from the
- evoked potentials -- procedures that record the brain's electrical
response to visual, auditory, and sensory stimuli.
- myelogram -- a procedure that uses dye injected into the spinal canal
to make the structure clearly visible on x-rays.
- neurosonography -- a procedure that uses ultra high frequency sound
waves that enable the physician to analyze blood flow in cases of possible
- other procedures
August 13, 2007.
For more information about the University of Maryland Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, or to make an appointment, call the University Physicians Consultation and Referral Service at 1-800-492-5538 (patients) or 1-800-373-4111 (physicians).