The Difference Between a Routine and Ambulatory EEG
Routine EEGs are used to detect a variety of brain-associated disorders and conditions. However, Routine EEGs usually only last up to a maximum of 60 minutes, which can be insufficient for detecting certain conditions. Ambulatory EEGs are longer term measurements of your brain, and can be done at home or in a hospital depending on the discretion of your doctor.
About Routine EEGs
An Electroencephalography, commonly known as an EEG, is the measuring and detection of electrical brainwaves. These brainwave observations can diagnose a variety of conditions ranging from seizures to comas to epilepsy.
The EEG procedure itself usually takes about 60 minutes and patients are free of pain or discomfort. A technician will measure and mark the head of the patient before applying metal discs all over your scalp. These discs are coated with a sticky adhesive to keep them in place. Depending on the patient, an elastic cap might also be placed on his or her head.
About Ambulatory EEGs
Most commonly, Ambulatory EEGs are used when a doctor is looking to monitor activity when a seizure is occurring. These procedures can confirm or dismiss whether epilepsy waves are causing the patient’s seizures.
Similar to a Routine EEG, Ambulatory EEG attaches wires to the patient’s scalp to measure their electrical brainwaves. However, instead of attaching to a larger machine, the wires attach to a smaller device (closer to the size of a brick) which the patient can wear around without interfering with normal everyday activity. Usually, this procedure lasts for either 24, 48, or 72 hours.
Ambulatory EEGs are particularly helpful when patients cannot identify their own seizures (people with mental retardation, encephalopathy, and other similar conditions are often unaware of their seizures), or during nocturnal hours when the patient is asleep.
Do I Need an EEG?
EEGs can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions and disorders that might be taking place in your brain. These include brain tumors, epilepsy, sleep disorders, dementia, and more. Dr. Sanjeev Garg at DSP Health System in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania is ready to discuss any type of issues that might be related to a brain disorder.
Early diagnosis with the help of an EEG is often the best chance for a positive outcome for patients with neurological disorders, so contact us immediately if you are having trouble sleeping, memory issues, seizures, or any other symptom that might be related to a neurological issue.
Nerve Conduction and EMG Tests
What is a Nerve Conduction Velocity Test?
(Also Known as a Nerve Conduction Study)
The purpose of a Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Test is to measure how fast electrical signals travel through particular peripheral nerves (peripheral nerves are nerves in the body besides the brain and spinal cord), and through these measurements, if and how much nerve damage exists in the patient.
NCV Tests help differentiate between injuries to nerve fibers and injuries to the myelin sheath that covers and protects the nerves. In particular, they are used to test for muscular and neuromuscular disorders. These tests usually take up to an hour to complete and consists of a series of electric pulses being sent through the muscle and nerve using a group of metal discs that attach to the body. The speed of muscle contraction is measured, which is known as conduction velocity.
Electromyograms (also known as EMGs) are tests to help distinguish whether muscle weakness is purely muscular or neuromuscular in nature. In an EMG, a needle electrode is inserted into the muscle to measure the electrical activity of muscles.
Both procedures are considered non-invasive and carry very little risk associated with them. If you are experiencing tingling, pain, weakness, or numbness in your muscles, consult with your doctor about whether NCV or EMG tests are the correct course of action.
Somatosensory Evoked Potential, Visual Evoked Potential, Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential