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Neurological Procedures

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Neurological Procedures


What is a neurological examination?

-A neurological examination assesses "motor and sensory skills, the functioning of one or more cranial (brain) nerves, hearing and speech, vision, coordination, and balance."

-Tools used to conduct a neurological examination include a tuning fork, flashlight, reflex hammer, ophthalmoscope (to see inside the ear), and a small needle.

-Some tests require the services of a specialist to perform and analyze the results.


Types of Brain Scans

Computed Tomography (CT or CAT scan)

-Painless procedure with low radiation

-Produces a picture of the brain and spine using a combination of X-rays and computer technology

-Scanning takes about 30 minutes


Electroencephalography (EEG)

-Painless, risk-free test used to monitor brain activity

-Small metal disks, called electrodes, are pasted on the scalp and detect the electrical energy of the brain

-Patients often sit in a chair or on a bed during the test

-Testing usually takes one hour but can last up to three


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

-Painless, risk-free test

-A large tube-shaped machine sends pulses of radio waves from a scanner to a computer, producing detailed images of organs and structures within the body

-Testing usually takes one hour


Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

-Painless and relatively risk-free test

-Uses a small amount of radioactive substance to evaluate brain metabolism and function

-A PET scan may be ordered as a follow-up to a CT or MRI scan


Ultrasound Imaging

-Painless, risk-free test

-An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to analyze blood flow in the brain (imaging takes 15-20 minutes)



-Painless, fast, non-invasive procedure

-A technician uses low-dose ionized radiation through the body and onto a photographic plate


Functional MRI (fMRI)

-Painless, risk-free test

-Uses the blood’s magnetic properties to create images of blood flow to particular areas of the brain



-Type of X-ray that uses a beam of low dose radiation to produce continuous images of a body part in motion

-Used to evaluate the flow of blood through arteries

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