Diagnosis and Screening for Neurological Conditions

Overview

When doctors suspect someone has a neurologic condition such as brain injury, tumors, hydrocephalus, aneurysm, epilepsy or stroke, a range of neurologic tests can help determine the diagnosis. A radiologist or technologist administers the test and then sends the results to the doctor.

For instance, an arteriogram (or angiogram) can make veins, arteries and other structures more visible and can reveal blockages, malformations, aneurysms or other problems affecting the blood vessels of the brain and spine.

Computed tomography, or CT scans, capture cross-sectional views of the brain and surrounding structures. Computed tomography angiography (CTA) combines a CT scan with an injection of a contrast medium to produce pictures of blood vessels and tissues.

Electroencephalograms, or EEGs, record the electrical activity of the brain and are part of the diagnostic work-up for epilepsy and other disorders.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radiofrequencies, powerful magnets and a computer interface to provide a clear and detailed view of soft tissue and organs in the body, including the brain. Special applications of magnetic resonance imaging include magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and magnetic resonance venography (MRV).

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique that shows the structure and function of the brain, along with subtle changes in cell activity seen at the onset of certain diseases, such as cancer.

Tests, Treatments and Therapies