Neurophysiology is a field of neuroscience that assesses how your nervous system is working. A patient could be sent to the Neurophysiology team for several reasons. They may be showing signs of conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease or brain tumours. They may have symptoms of stroke, head injuries or trauma - such as dizziness or balance problems. Other relevant medical symptoms could include memory loss or changes to their mental state. Neurophysiology is helpful when diagnosing medical issues of the brain or nervous system. This is because it helps to measure and monitor the recording of electrical activity from within our nervous system.
There can also be less serious reasons to get a neurophysiology test. If a patient experiences issues such as tingling, numbness or weakness in their hands, this may be due to peripheral nerve problems. Other relevant symptoms could include reduced coordination and grip strength. These may show an underlying nerve condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or medial nerve entrapment.
Blackrock Health is renowned for excellent neurological care, particularly at the Hermitage Clinic. We have the largest private Neurosurgical Unit in the country, with the greatest number of neurosurgeons in our hospitals. Our team of experts includes neurologists, neurophysiologists, clinical nurse specialists, radiologists, and radiographers. Working together, we can evaluate your condition and explore your treatment options. We treat a wide range of conditions of the nervous system conditions - from chronic headaches to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and motor neuron disease. We can offer you fast access to critical diagnostic tests to help provide the information needed to plan for your treatment. These include MRI, CT, and PET scans, as well as physical and neuropsychological exams to identify the cause of your symptoms. We are committed to providing expert support to our patients. Dealing with the symptoms or diagnosis of a neurological condition can be very challenging - but we're here to help. At Blackrock Health, we offer expert diagnostic testing for patients with neurophysiology symptoms. This includes seizures, carpal tunnel and multiple sclerosis.
Our team includes:
- Consultant neurophysiologists
- Clinical neurophysiologists
- Neuro Physiologists
Who we treat
Our neurophysiology team uses a variety of tests and equipment to help diagnose and treat several complex conditions. This includes:
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- polyneuropathy (damage to peripheral nerves)
- nerve compression syndrome
- pinched nerves
- muscle disease
- neuromuscular junction disorders
- autonomic disorders (damage to the nervous system)
- multiple sclerosis (a condition that affects the brain and spinal cord)
- trigeminal disorders (chronic pain condition in the face)
We offer several tests to help check your neurophysiological health. These include:
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Telemetry studies
- Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) (to test carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Electromyographies (EMG)
- Repetitive stimulation (to test for neuromuscular junction disorders)
- Blink responses
Nerve Conduction Studies and Electromyography
These are a set of tests often used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, one of the most common nerve disorders.
It is an outpatient test performed in the Clinical Neurophysiology Department. It is performed by the neuro physiologist and takes between 20 and 90 minutes
Initially, the nerve is stimulated with a mild electrical current generated by a small electrode placed on the skin. The impulse travels in the nerve through the tunnel to the hand where it is measured. This is the NCS.
Secondly, the activity of the muscle is measured to assess the degree of abnormal function. This is done by the insertion of a small needle into the muscles of the hand. The electrical activity is then measured with the muscle - both at rest and on contraction. This is the EMG.
The results are reviewed by your neurophysiological consultant. They will then report their findings back to your referring doctor.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a diagnostic test that records electrical activity in the brain.
The test takes approximately 1 hour and is performed by the Neuro physiologist. During the test electrodes, connected to your scalp by paste, will record the electrical activity of your brain. You do not need to have your hair cut for this procedure. You will be asked to remain still and relaxed so that the recording is clear. You will experience no pain or discomfort and the physiologist will instruct you throughout.
After the test, the consultant neurophysiologist will review the recording and issue a report to the referring doctor.
We also offer a “Sleep Deprived EEG”. This is similar to the above test, varying only in that you would attend having remained awake for a prescribed period the previous night.
What to expect from a Neurophysiology test
All tests are conducted in our Neurophysiology suite. When you arrive, a member of our team will greet you and discuss your test in full with you.
Depending on the type of test you have, your neurophysiologist may place electrodes where you have symptoms.
For some tests, a small needle will be placed under your skin to measure how your muscles or nerves react to small impulses.
Most tests will take about 1 to 1.5 hours.
What can patients expect after a visit to our neurophysiology teams?
After a visit with a hospital neurophysiology team, patients can expect to receive an extensive medical report. This will be sent to the doctor who referred you for tests. This medical report will outline the findings of any diagnostic tests you have undergone while at the hospital. Reports may include results from imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs - and other information relevant to neurological health. The medical report may also contain specific recommendations. This could include follow-up visits, therapies, or medications needed to help manage your condition. Our neurophysiology teams strive to provide individualised care for all patients. This ensures that you receive appropriate treatments and the best possible outcome.
How do I get this?
You will need a referral letter from your GP or consultant before you make an appointment. Please see our Request Appointment Form here.
Is this insured?
Not all services are covered by health insurance. To find out if you're covered, please check your health insurance before your visit. You can do this on our health insurance Cover Check page here, or by contacting your health insurer.
How do I pay?
If you do not have health insurance or your health plan does not cover the full cost, you will need to pay the balance due before your treatment or procedure. You may be able to claim back some fees on your insurance. To pay an excess not covered by your insurance or any other inpatient fees, please visit our payment page here. If you have any queries about paying for your care, please contact the finance team in your hospital.