Procedures

The Neurodiagnostics Lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center conducts a wide range of comprehensive imaging, electrical impulse detection, and other neurodiagnostic procedures to help doctors quickly diagnose a variety of disorders.

Imaging

Imaging tests include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scans, X-rays, or positron emissions tomography (PET) scans.  

Specific tests include:

3-D rotational angiography
An X-ray study that looks inside your veins and arteries to detect cerebral, abdominal, or peripheral conditions such as aneurysms
Computed tomography angiography (CTA)
Used to visualize the arteries and veins throughout the body; often used with conditions such as strokes
Diagnostic and interventional cerebral angiography
Provides images of the veins and arteries in and around the brain; used with conditions such as strokes
High field MRI
Assesses brain alterations; used with strokes
Magnetic resonance perfusion
Uses injected dye to see blood flow through tissue; used with strokes
Transcranial doppler and carotid doppler
Tests blood flow in the arteries of the brain and neck; used in strokes and cerebral vascular cases

Electrical Impulse Detection

Electrical impulse detection includes electroencephalography (EEG), a measure of electrical activity in the brain, as well as nerve conduction studies. Also called electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies test how well and how quickly a nerve can send an electrical impulse.

Specific tests include:

Evoked potentials
Stimulates a specific area of the body and records the signals as they travel to the spinal cord and to a specific area of the brain; often used with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, or Alzheimer’s disease
Quantitative sensory testing (QST)
Assesses damage to nerve endings; used for neuromuscular conditions
Quantitative autonomic testing or autonomic reflex screen (ARS)
Assesses sudomotor, cardiovagal, or adrenergic responses in many conditions, including fainting, Parkinson’s disease, and rapid heart beat (tachycardia)
Repetitive nerve stimulation
Assesses weakening muscle responses when nerves are stimulated. The test is used to differentiate nerve disorders from muscular disorders and is often used with myasthenia gravis.
Routine and single fiber electromyography
Measures electrical activity between the brain and a specific muscle or a fiber of a specific muscle; used in neuromuscular conditions such as myasthenia gravis

Other Neurodiagnostic Testing

Neurodiagnostic testing may involve several tests to pinpoint your condition or rule out others. Services we offer include:

Cognitive testing
Used for memory disorders
Gait analysis
Measures and analyzes walking patterns; used in conditions such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease
Ocular physiology
Studies the function and activities of the eye and its parts; often used for multiple sclerosis
Optic nerve testing
Detects visual problems with the nerve that carries visual signals from the eye to the brain; commonly used with multiple sclerosis
Skin, muscle, and nerve biopsies
Small samples of tissue are removed from the body and examined to identify and diagnose specific disorders