Tests and Treatments
Tests & Treatments
There are a number of tests and treatments available to help with neurological diseases and conditions. Call St. Luke's Neurology Associates to learn the best test or treatment for your condition.
Botox injections for dystonia, pain and spasticity
Injections of Botox, or botulinum toxin, have proven effective in relieving a number of neurological conditions, including the ones listed below. Botox is injected into the affected muscle where it blocks the release of the chemical that produces muscle contractions.
- Dystonia - a movement disorder characterized by uncontrollable muscle contractions resulting in repetitive movements or abnormal postures. Symptoms include foot cramping, uncontrollable blinking, speech difficulties, dragging leg or pulling of the neck.
- Spasticity - a muscle control disorder characterized by tight or stiff muscles and an inability to control those muscles. It is caused by an imbalance of signals from the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to the muscles. People with cerebral palsey, traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury suffer from spasticity. Symptoms include overactive reflexes, spasms (brisk and/or sustained involuntary muscle contraction), fast involuntary contractions, pain, abnormal posture, bone and joint deformities, permanent contraction of the muscle and tendon.
- Pain - can be classified as acute (lasting only a moment) or chronic (lasting for long periods). It can attack any part of the body, including the muscles, bones and joints.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) measures and records the electrical brain activity. An EEG may be done to help diagnose and treat a number of neurological disorders including:
- Epilepsy and associated seizures
- Sleep disorders, including narcolepsy
- Other problems in the brain, spinal cord or nervous system
- Mental health conditions
An electromyogram (EMG) records the electrical muscle activity when patients have unexplained muscle weakness. EMGs can be used to diagnose many neurological diseases and conditions such as muscular dystrophy, muscle inflammation, pinched nerves, peripheral (arms and legs) nerve damage, herniated discs, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and myasthenia gravis.
Evoked potential tests are harmless and painless tests that measure electrical activity in certain areas of the brain when certain groups of nerves are stimulated. Often used to help diagnose multiple sclerosis, EP tests show problems along nerve pathways. Evoked potentials are recorded by placing wires with stimulators on the scalp over the areas of the brain.
There are four main types of evoked potential tests:
- Visual Evoked Potentials (VEP)
- Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potentials (BAEP)
- Sensory Evoked Potentials (SEP)
- Motor Evoked Potentials
A CT (computed tomography) Scanner is a computer-driven X-ray machine that takes cross-sectional pictures of parts of the internal organs, bones, soft tissues and blood vessels within the body, allowing radiologists to build three-dimensional images. The patient is usually in the department approx 15 to 20 minutes, with the actual scan itself taking only minutes. Learn more about CT Scanning at St. Luke's.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is done without the use of X-rays. The MRI scanner is a large magnet that makes water molecules inside the body move. The MRI computer detects this movement and converts it into a picture. Each exam takes from 20 to 60 minutes. St. Luke's has state-of-the-art MRI equipment at each of our four campuses. Learn more about Magnetic Resonance Imaging at St. Luke's.
Sleep studies are conducted at one of the four St. Luke's Sleep Disorders Centers. Six to eight hours are needed for the study and patients sleep in a private, home-like room. Specially trained, patient-friendly sleep technicians make sure that care is customized for each person during the sleep study. A board-certified doctor reads and interprets the results of the test. Learn more about sleep studies and locations of the St. Luke's Sleep Disorders Centers.