Explanation of Neurological Services

Neurological Associates of Long Island cares for patients coping with a variety of neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, movement disorders, headache, neck and lower back pain.

EEG – An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test used to detect abnormalities related to electrical activity of the brain. This procedure tracks and records brain wave patterns. Small metal discs with thin wires (electrodes) are placed on the scalp, and then send signals to a computer to record the results. Normal electrical activity in the brain makes a recognizable pattern. Through an EEG, doctors can look for abnormal patterns that indicate seizures and other problems. Preparation is minimal, take about an hour to perform, and are very safe.
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EMG – Electromyography (EMG) measures the response of muscles and nerves to electrical activity. It’s used to help determine muscle conditions that might be causing muscle weakness, including muscular dystrophy and nerve disorders. Muscles are stimulated by signals from nerve cells called motor neurons. This stimulation causes electrical activity in the muscle, which in turn causes the muscle to contract or tighten. The muscle contraction itself produces electrical signals. Results are available immediately but a trained medical specialist, usually neurologist, is needed to analyze and interpret them.
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VNG – Videonystagmography (VNG) testing is used to determine if a vestibular (inner ear) disease may be causing a balance or dizziness problem. The test is one of the only tests available today that can decipher between a unilateral (one ear) and bilateral (both ears) vestibular loss. By measuring the movements of the eyes directly through infrared cameras, a VNG provides accurate and consistent results while keeping you comfortable. VNG testing is considered the new standard for testing inner ear functions.
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Trigger Point Injections – Trigger Point Injections (TPI) are used to treat extremely painful areas of several muscle groups, especially those in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. In addition, TPI can be used to treat fibromyalgia and tension headaches, and is also used to alleviate myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that does not respond to other treatments. Usually, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief. Injections are given in a doctor’s office and usually take just a few minutes. Several sites may be injected in one visit.

Botox – Botulinum toxin type A (BOTOX) and botulinum toxin B (Myobloc) are therapeutic muscle-relaxing agents that cause weakening of overactive muscles. These treatments work at the site of the nerves where they are injected, and are associated with few side effects. Botulinum toxin is injected into the muscle with a very fine needle. Some patients report minor or temporary discomfort from the treatment, which typically is needed no more than four times a year. Each person will experience a different level of relief and therapeutic benefit.

Cognitive Testing – Cognitive Testing helps determine if a person has a psychiatric, neurological or medical condition that contributes to problems with thinking. The results can help identify steps for the person’s care. An evaluation includes the person’s medical and psychiatric background as well as education, work history and social background. Testing examines areas such as language skills, memory, perceptual abilities, problem solving skills and other functions. Testing and evaluations can take approximately two to five hours to complete.

Carotid and Transcranial Doppler – The carotid (through the neck) and transcranial (through the skull) Doppler ultrasound test uses reflected sound waves to measure how blood is flowing through the blood vessels in the brain. The test does not require entering the body (it is noninvasive) and the two tests are often conducted at the same time. The test usually takes from 30 to 45 minutes, and patients may go back to your normal activities after the test.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe non-invasive diagnostic tool used for examination of the body’s tissues and organs. Various parts of the body such as the brain, spinal cord, joints and other areas can be examined. The patient is placed in a magnetic field and radio frequency pulses and computer technology are used to create highly defined images. There is no exposure to x-rays unlike CAT scan imaging. The data is reviewed by a radiologist and the patient’s treating physician. The information is used to help establish diagnosis, to follow patients during the course of an illness and sometimes to help determine the patient’s prognosis.
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Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA) is a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of blood vessels inside the body. In many cases MRA can provide information that can’t be obtained from an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan.
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