Clinical Neurophysiology

Clinical neurophysiology is the diagnosis, management and monitoring of neurological disease. It also involves function monitoring during brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerve surgical operations.

What is clinical neurophysiology?

Clinical neurophysiology is primarily an investigative specialty. It uses computer, electrical, magnetic and electronic means to record the function of your brain, spinal cord, spinal roots, peripheral nerves and muscle to diagnose, classify and manage neurological disease.

For example, a clinical neurophysiology test called electroencephalography is used to classify seizure disorders such as epilepsy and to select patients for surgery to improve this condition.

Neurophysiological techniques such as electromyography (EMG) are increasingly used to identify conditions such as trapped nerves that can be surgically treated. They are also used to support safer surgical operations on your brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerve.

Additionally, clinical neurophysiology is used to monitor neurological disease progression, to help define the best management and understand the effects of therapy on the condition.

What does a clinical neurophysiologist do?

Clinical neurophysiologists (CN) are neurologist doctors who specialise in the diagnosis of nervous system disorders. They work closely with neurology and neuroscience departments to investigate, guide and monitor treatment for neurological conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, peripheral nerve disorders, sleep problems and Parkinson’s disease.

Neurophysiologists perform a number of tests and investigations to evaluate the function of your brain and nervous system. including:

  • EEG (electroencephalography) - records your brain's electrical activity. Used to investigate epilepsy, inflammation of the brain and other neurological disorders.
  • Videotelemetry – records your brainwaves usually for several days along with a video. Used to further investigate epilepsy.
  • EMG (electromyography) - records the activity of skeletal muscle. Used to investigate muscle diseases such as motor neurone disease.
  • Nerve conduction studies (NCS) - tests the electrical changes in your peripheral nervous system produced by electrical stimulus. Used to investigate patients with peripheral nerve damage.
  • Evoked potentials – records the reaction of your brain to external stimuli such as sound or light. Used to investigate diseases of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis.

Neurophysiologists also run neurological clinics for the long-term monitoring of people with epilepsy and neuromuscular problems.

What does a neurophysiologist treat?

A neurophysiologist can help develop a treatment plan for conditions including:

  • epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  • headaches including migraine and cluster headaches
  • motor neurone disease
  • memory and attention difficulties including early dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • multiple sclerosis
  • sleep disorders including sleep apnoea and insomnia
  • strokes

Is a neurophysiologist a doctor?

Yes. A neurophysiologist is a doctor who investigates and diagnoses disorders of the nervous system. These include neuromuscular disease, nerve entrapments, epilepsy and ophthalmic disease.

What is the recovery process after a clinical neurophysiology procedure?

The recovery process after a clinical neurophysiology procedure will depend on the exact procedure you have. Generally, these tests are painless and non-invasive. As such, most patients go home and return to normal activities immediately after a clinical neurophysiology procedure.

If you have a seizure disorder, an EEG may cause you to have a seizure. Your care team will monitor you and treat any seizure activity immediately.

You should let your healthcare team know If you have any pain or discomfort during or after your procedure.

What is the cost of a clinical neurophysiology procedure?

The cost of a clinical neurophysiology procedure will depend on the test or tests requested by your clinical neurophysiologist and your Ramsay hospital of choice.

You will receive a formal quotation price for your clinical neurophysiology following a consultation with one of our expert clinical neurophysiologists. This formal quote will be valid for 60 days.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Clinical neurophysiology procedures are covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before having any procedure.

We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your clinical neurophysiology yourself. We offer interest-free finance with 0% interest, no deposit and affordable monthly instalments, so you can start treatment immediately.

Clinical neurophysiology at Ramsay Health Care

If your doctor recommends you to see a neurophysiologist for specialised tests and procedures, Ramsay’s specialised neurology multi-disciplinary teams are here to help.

Highly skilled clinical neurophysiologists work alongside neurologists and neurosurgeons to investigate a wide range of symptoms and plan treatment for neurological conditions. These include epilepsy, trapped nerve and nervous system disorders. They offer convenient appointments without waiting at a Ramsay hospital near you.

From ongoing headaches, numbness and tingling, seizures to problems sleeping, our clinical neurophysiologists can diagnose your symptoms and aid in your treatment.

We can provide ongoing monitoring and specialised care for a brain or nervous system condition or disease, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.

All Ramsay hospitals follow strict infection control protocols to keep you and our staff safe whilst visiting.

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