Evoked potential tests (EP) tests measure how the brain responds to stimulation of specific nerve pathways in the body.
Technicians at Dignity Health Central California offer a range of EP tests, including VEP, BAEP, and SEP tests, to determine if you have nerve fiber damage or disease. For an evoked potential test in Bakersfield, CA, Find a Doctor at:
Why You Might Need an Evoked Potential Test
All EP tests measure electrical activity in the brain, which corresponds to how well your nerves send signals. Poor nerve signaling, or conduction, can indicate a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis (MS), a tumor pressing on the spine or brain, or other disease.
Types of EP Tests
The main types of evoked potential tests are:
- Visual evoked potential (VEP) tests detect abnormalities in vision. VEP tests are often used to diagnose MS, because some early signs and symptoms (such as blurred or double vision) are caused by optic nerve problems.
- Brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP) tests measure how signals move along the auditory nerves. You may get a BAEP test to find the cause of hearing loss, which may include a tumor in the auditory canal of the ear.
- Somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP or SEP) tests, lower and upper, measure electrical activity in the brain after stimulation of nerves in the legs and arms. SEP tests help diagnose MS and other diseases that damage nerves.
What Happens During an EP Test at Dignity Health Central California
Evoked potential tests are noninvasive. Your neurologist may ask you to have more than one type of EP test, which can be done at an outpatient center or in a hospital.
For an EP test, a technician will apply electrodes to your scalp and neck and, possibly, your arms or legs. These electrodes are painless. They send information to a nearby computer.
- For a VEP test, you will view a flashing or flickering image on a screen.
- For an BAEP test, you will listen to clicks and other sounds through a pair of headphones.
- For an SEP test, electrodes will deliver mild electrical impulses to the nerves in your arms and legs, which may cause tingling.
Electrodes on your scalp capture your brain’s electrical activity. The technician measures how long it takes for the stimulus to cause a response in your brain. Healthy nerves transmit signals almost instantly.
Recovery After EP Testing
There is usually no recovery period after evoked potential testing. You likely can return to home or work immediately after the test.
Dignity Health Central California doctors use VEP, BAEP, and SEP tests to find the source of nerve-related symptoms. Your neurologist will discuss the results and next steps with you. These may include additional testing and a personalized treatment plan that considers your physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
Technicians at Dignity Health perform evoked potential (EP) testing in Central California, including VEP, BAEP and SEP tests in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.