Neurodiagnostics or electro-neurodiagnostics, END, is the study and recording of activity in the brain and nervous system to determine if they are functioning correctly. Accredited by ABRET, Kootenai Health’s Neurodiagnostics Services assists physicians in the diagnosis of conditions including epilepsy, vascular disease, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, head trauma and many more. All studies are performed by registered technologists.
An EEG records the electrical activity of the brain. Sensitive monitoring equipment records the activity through electrodes placed on the patient’s scalp. EEGs assist physicians in the diagnosis of a variety of neurological problems from headaches and dizziness to seizure disorders, strokes, and degenerative brain disease. The EEG is also used to look for altered mental status, organic causes of psychiatric symptoms, numerous disabilities and to determine irreversible brain death.
Evoked Potential (EP)
An EP records electrical activity from the brain, spinal cord nerves, or sensory receptors as they respond to stimulation introduced as part of the test. How long the response takes helps evaluate a number of different problems, including brainstem and spinal cord injuries. They are also used to diagnose multiple sclerosis, optic neuritis, brain injury after cardiac arrest, and other neurological conditions.
Neurodiagnostics Services monitors patients during certain surgical procedures to give the surgeon additional information about brain and nerve function during the operation. Evoked potential and electromyography monitoring may be used during neurosurgery or orthopedic surgery to help evaluate the nerve pathways in the area being operated on.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
Deep Brain Stimulation, DBS, is a procedure that can significantly help people with essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease. A small device implanted in the brain delivers electrical pulses that block or override signals in the brain that cause the tremors. Approved by the FDA in 1997, DBS can be a life-changing procedure for people who are no longer seeing results from prescription medications.
Newborn Hearing Screening
Kootenai Health tests the hearing of every baby born at the Kootenai Health’s Birthing Center. If a newborn does not pass the initial screening process, a more sophisticated study is performed in Neurodiagnostics Services. Auditory pathway studies help identify hearing problems early.
Nerve Conduction Study
Measures the speed of conduction of an electrical impulse through a nerve. This study can determine nerve damage or destruction.
Patients can wear a unit at home for one to five days in the comfort of their own home and receive a continuous EEG evaluation to capture any potential events.