Diagnostic tests and procedures are vital tools that help physicians confirm or rule out a neurological disorder or other medical condition. A century ago, the only way to make a definite diagnosis for many neurological disorders was to perform an autopsy after someone had died. Today, new instruments and techniques allow scientists to assess the living brain and monitor nervous system activity as it occurs. Doctors now have powerful and accurate tools to better diagnose disease and to test how well a particular therapy may be working.
Neurological tests mainly refer to the diagnostic tests recommended to determine the neurological or nerve functions of the body.
Neurology tests are performed to diagnose typical peripheral neuropathy. Based on the symptoms of a patient, physical examination, and medical history, different tests may be recommended as measures to diagnose the underlying condition. The following tests are also conducted:
Electrodiagnostic Tests: These tests are mainly used to measure the electrical activities of nerves and muscles. Measuring electrical activity helps doctors determine nerve damage, the extent of damage, and the cause of damage. Neurologists recommend common and non-invasive neurological evaluations like electromyography (EMG test) or nerve conduction velocity test (NCV test).
Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST): This method is used to diagnose peripheral nervous system complications or disorders, such as chronic pain due to underlying diseases like CRPS and Diabetes. It principally determines the threshold of pain and sensation for warm and cold temperatures and any sensation of vibration threshold by activating the skin and further comparing results to the normative values available in the software. When a specific stimulus activates its corresponding stimuli-specific receptors, nerve fibers innervate those receptors communicating the message of the stimuli to the CNS, where the sensation of pain occurs.
Autonomic Testing: These tests measure the systems controlled by automatic nerves responding to stimulation in the human body. Data collected during the test indicates whether the automatic nervous system has been functioning as usual or not. If not, there is likely nerve damage. This non-invasive, painless test also helps determine if the patient is having some underlying disease that is attacking the autonomic nervous system, or a way of diagnosing a disease, or the source and cause of pain.