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Neurologists treat many different types of brain and nerve conditions, including stroke, traumatic brain injuries, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, brain disorders such as epilepsy, and even sleep disorders. If you experience signs or symptoms of one of these neurological conditions, your doctor may need to order one or several tests to make an accurate diagnosis.
At Dignity Health Central California, we equip our hospitals and care centers with advanced, cutting-edge medical technology to deliver precise test results. Find a Doctor today if you need a neurological examination in Central California.
Sometimes, your neurologist can make an exact diagnosis with a fairly simple neurological exam, assessing your brain, spine, and nerve functions. However, some neurological disorders have very similar symptoms, or produce signs not related to the nervous system. Diagnostic testing can rule out certain conditions and help your neurologist confirm an expected diagnosis.
Some common diagnostic tests used by neurologists are:
If you are experiencing symptoms that suggest a neurological condition, your doctor will likely order one of these tests to confirm a diagnosis.
Some neurological diagnostic testing can be invasive. This is the case with myelography, which relies on contrast dye injected into the spinal column to provide sharp imagery of the spinal cord and surrounding structures. Other exams, such as an EEG, use noninvasive methods, such as imaging scans or electrical impulse recording.
Before you undergo any test, your Dignity Health Central California neurologist will explain in detail what to expect during the exam, and discuss ways to minimize any risk of complications.
With some tests, results are known right away. In many cases, however, you will need to wait a few days for results and analysis.
Most imaging studies are noninvasive and typically need no recovery time. Other imaging exams require an injection of a contrast material. Before such exams, you will receive instructions on how to care for the needle puncture site and what activities to avoid. You may also need to spend time in a recovery area after the exam under the care of a nurse.
Want to know what lifestyle factors put you at risk for stroke? Take our free stroke risk assessment, and discuss the results with your neurologist.