Patient Resources

Tests & Procedures

Spasticity is a condition in which certain muscles are overactive, causing stiffness or tightness, and sometimes pain. Spasticity is usually caused by a disruption of the nerve signals from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles. This can often occur in patients who have suffered a stroke, spinal cord or traumatic brain injury, and in persons with multiple sclerosis.

An MRI is an advanced way of taking pictures of the inner brain or other areas. It is harmless and involves magnetic fields and radio waves. It is performed when a patient is lying in a small chamber for about 30 minutes. Because the MRI utilizes a very strong magnet, if you have metal in your body other than dental filings, please notify your physician. Be sure to tell your physician if you suffer from claustrophobia (fear of closed areas). A physician can offer recommendations that can help you relax. This test is simple and painless.

The EEG records the brain's continuous electrical activity through electrodes attached to the scalp. It is used to help diagnose structural disease of the brain and episodes such as seizures, fainting, or blacking out. This test is painless.

An EMG measures and records electrical activity from the muscles and nerves. This may be helpful in determining the cause of pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the muscles or nerves. Small needles are inserted into the muscle and mild electrical shocks are given to stimulate the nerve. Discomfort may be associated with this test.

This test records the brain's electrical response to visual, auditory and sensory stimuli. This test is useful in evaluating and diagnosing symptoms of dizziness, numbness, and tingling, as well as some visual disorders. Discomfort may be associated with this test.

These involve tests that diagnose specific causes of sleep problems. To perform the tests, it is often necessary for a patient to spend the night in our sleep laboratory. Brain wave activity, heart rate, electrical activity of the heart, breathing and oxygen in the blood are all measured during the sleep test. The test is painless.

This test is used to check for bleeding, hemorrhage, infection or other disorders of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. In this test, the lower back is numbed with local anesthesia, and a thin needle is placed into the space that contains the spinal fluid. The amount of spinal fluid needed to diagnose the specific problem is removed and the needle is withdrawn. Discomfort may be associated with this test.