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Investigations 

Investigations
Chapter:
Investigations
Author(s):

David Chadwick

, Alastair Compston

, Michael Donaghy

, Nicholas Fletcher

, Robert Grant

, David Hilton-Jones

, Martin Rossor

, Peter Rothwell

, and Neil Scolding

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198569381.003.0100
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date: 20 October 2018

This chapter describes the many methods that can be used to investigate neurological disorders. The application and suitability for specific disorder types are outlined, as are contraindications for use. Methods of imaging the central nervous system include computed tomography (CT) imaging, several magnetic resonance (MR) scanning methods, Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Invasive (angiography) and non-invasive methods of imaging the cerebral circulation are also outlined.

The standard method of recording electrical activity of the brain is the electroencephalogram (EEG), which is heavily used in epilepsy to investigate regions of epileptogenesis.

Other investigations described include evoked potentials, nerve conduction and electromyography studies, the examination of cerebrospinal fluid and the diagnostic use of neurological autoantibodies. Finally, neurogenetics, neuropsychological assessment and the assessment of treatments by randomized trials are discussed.

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