Common Neurologic Tests
Neurologic tests can establish a diagnosis when several possible diagnoses exist, help make therapeutic decisions, and assess the results of treatment. These tests are divided into the evaluation of (a) function, (b) structure, and (c) underlying molecular/genetic abnormalities. Tests to evaluate function include the neurologic exam, neuropsychological tests, electroencephalogram, electromyogram, and nerve conduction tests. Tests to evaluate nervous system structure include lumbar puncture and cerebrospinal fluid examination, neuroimaging, single photon/positron emission computed tomography (SPECT or PET), and finally, to assess underlying genetic abnormalities, specialized genetic tests are indicated. Each of these neurologic tests is discussed in terms of their basic principles, indications, cost, and possible side effects.
KeywordsNeurologic exam Neuropsychological tests Electroencephalogram Electromyogram Nerve conduction tests Lumbar puncture Cerebrospinal fluid Magnetic resonance imaging Computed tomography Single photon/positron emission computed tomography Molecular/genetic tests
- Fishman RA. Cerebrospinal fluid in diseases of the nervous system. 2nd edn. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 1992. (Excellent compendium of normal CSF values and changes that occur in many diseases)Google Scholar