Electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) are two of the highly-advanced diagnostic tools used by neurologists at Saint Francis Hospital.
The EEG, also known as a brain wave test, is a key tool in the diagnosis and management of epilepsy and other seizure disorders. It is also used to assist in the diagnosis of brain damage and diseases such as strokes, tumors, encephalitis, mental retardation and sleep disorders. The results of the test can distinguish psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, paranoia and depression from degenerative mental disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. An EEG may also be used to monitor brain activity during surgery to assess the effects of anesthesia. It is also used to determine brain status and brain death.
EMG is an electrical recording of muscle activity that aids in the diagnosis of neuromuscular disease. During an EMG exam, muscles are stimulated by signals from nerve cells called motor neurons. This stimulation causes electrical activity in the muscle, which in turn causes contraction. This electrical activity is detected by a needle electrode inserted into the muscle and connected to a recording device. EMG can determine whether a particular muscle is responding appropriately to stimulation, and whether a muscle remains inactive when not stimulated. EMG can help diagnose many muscle and nerve disorders including muscular dystrophy, Guillain-Barré syndrome and polio.