While reviewing a patient’s medical history and conducting a neurological consultation, the neurologist may determine that it is necessary to perform a Nerve Conduction Study (NCS). The procedure involves stimulating one or more nerves, with the help of metal electrodes placed on the skin, to measure and record nerve responses. The study provides valuable feedback regarding the number of nerve fibres present and the integrity of the myelin to conduct the nerve impulse. Depending upon the nerve, it can be either a motor nerve or sensory nerve conduction. The characteristics such as speed of the impulse, shape, wavelength and height of the nerve signal help the neurologist to diagnose whether the nerve is functional or defective.
A NCS is helpful in diagnosing conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle disorders, neuropathies, radiculopathy (nerve root damage), motor neuron diseases and disorders of neuromuscular junction, such as myasthenia gravis.
An electromyography (EMG) test is another diagnostic tool that our neurologists use that may be administered along with the nerve conduction study to measure the electrical activity of the patient’s muscles at rest and while contracting.
An EMG is routinely used to confirm or rule out abnormalities such as a lack of muscle response to electrical activity or even complete absence of contractions. Any inadequacy in nerve or muscle function can be easily detected with an EMG test. Apart from being used for diagnostic purposes, electromyography is also used to monitor our patient’s progress from prescribed treatments that are designed to improve muscular conditions.