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Electroneurodiagnostics


Neurodiagnostic Technology Careers

Neurodiagnostics analyzes and monitors nervous  system function to promote the effective treatment  of neurological diseases and conditions.  Technologists record electrical activity arising from the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves using a variety of techniques and instruments. Neurodiagnostic technologists prepare patients for procedures, obtain medical histories, record electrical potentials, calculate results, maintain equipment, and may work with specific treatments. They develop rapport with patients and comfort them during the recording procedure, which can last from 20 minutes [for a single nerve conduction study] to 8 hours for a sleep study, to multiple days admission for long term monitoring. Neurodiagnostic technologists understand neurophysiology and recognize normal and abnormal electrical activity. They act as eyes and ears for specially trained doctors who later review and interpret the data.

 
Considerable individual initiative, reasoning skill, and sound judgment are all expected of the electroneurodiagnostic professional.The most common neurodiagnostic procedures are the electroencephalogram, long term monitoring, intraoperative neuromonitoring, the polysomnogram, evoked potential studies, and nerve conduction studies. The electroencephalogram [EEG] is the most frequently performed procedure.A good resource for information about neurological disorders is available from the American Academy of Neurology [AAN]. They maintain a list of advocacy groups, as well as patient education literature accessible on-line. Visit www.aan.com/professionals/patient/patient_edu.cfm.
 

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

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 Electroencephalogram [EEG] – Reveals  different brain patterns
 The Electroencephalogram [EEG] is a recording    of the on-going electrical activity of the brain. An  EEG is used to assist in the diagnosis of epilepsy  and a variety of neurological symptoms. These  symptoms include common headaches, dizziness, seizure disorders, convulsions, changes in awareness, unexplained loss of consciousness, prolonged or unexplained coma, strokes, and degenerative brain disease. EEGs are also used to evaluate the effects of head trauma or the consequences of severe infectious disease. EEG information can help doctors determine medical and surgical treatment of epilepsy.
Patients having surgery on arteries in the neck or around the heart often have EEG monitoring performed during the procedure, providing the surgeon with additional information about brain function and assuring surgeons that the brain receives enough oxygen. EEGs also are used in determining causes for staring spells or inattentiveness in children.
 

Evoked Potentials

Evoked potential (EP) tests measure the electrical activity of the brain in response to stimulation of specific sensory nerve pathways. They are able to detect the slowing of electrical conduction caused by damage (demyelination) along these pathways even when the change is too subtle to be noticed by the person or to show up on neurologic examination. Because the diagnosis of MS requires evidence of demyelination in two distinct areas of the central nervous system, EP testing can help confirm the diagnosis by enabling the physician to identify a second demyelinating event that caused no clinical symptoms or was not otherwise apparent.

In order to measure evoked potentials, wires are placed on the scalp overlying the areas of the brain being stimulated. The examiner then provides specific types of sensory input (e.g., sound, light or sensation), and records the responses of the person’s brain. Evoked potential testing is harmless, generally painless, and is a very sensitive technique for detecting lesions (damaged areas).

Polysomnography (Sleep Medicine)

A sleep technologist works under the general supervision of the medical director ordesignee to provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment of sleep disorders including in center and out of center sleep testing, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, comprehensive patient care and direct patient education. A sleep technologist is able to perform the duties defined for a sleep technician and is able to provide oversight of other sleep center staff. The sleep technologist is credentialed in sleep technology.
 

Intraoperative Monitoring

Intraoperative Neuromonitoring – Monitors nervous system during surgery
Intraoperative Neuromonitoring [IONM] is the use of neurophysiological monitoring techniques during surgery to provide information to the surgeon about nervous system integrity. The use of IONM guards against neurological complications during surgery and helps reduce the risk of negative surgical outcomes such as paralysis or stroke. IONM is used to monitor neurosurgical procedures and orthopedic procedures, including spinal surgery for scoliosis, tumors, and aneurysms; vascular surgeries; acoustic neuroma surgery; and carotid endarterectomy. Otolaryngologists use intraoperative neuromonitoring to monitor cranial nerve function during ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeries.

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