EEG and EMG/NCS

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EEG and EMG/NCS

Postby LoveActually » Fri May 29, 2009 11:18 am

Hi Everyone,

I saw my neurologist for the 1st time this past Wednesday. Unfortunately, she was not the type of doctor I want taking care of what may be a very serious issue. The highlight of the appointment was when she told my husband to open her office door and go down the hall to tell her receptionist that she needed another prescription pad.

After only being able to tell her half of my issues, (she's the rushing type) she scheduled me for a Brain MRI (which was expected), an EEG and an EMG/NCS. The EEG is going to be a 72 hour one. I've read all about that so I'm prepared for it. The EMG, I'm a little worried about. I can't even read about it because I saw somewhere that there's a needle under the skin and they move it around. YUK!

Here are my questions...

1. Are an EEG and EMG/NCS normal test for symptoms pointing towards MS?
2. The EMG/NCS, I don't need any details (frankly because I don't think I could handle it) but can you tell me how bad it was if you've had one?

Thank you.
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Postby patientx » Fri May 29, 2009 11:32 am

Like almost everything you will hear with diagnosing MS, most of the tests are used to exclude other conditions (the exceptions are the MRI and LP). I can't remember off-hand what the EEG is used to test for.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the EMG is where they check conduction of the peripheral nerves and muscles. Again, this isn't used to test for MS, since MS is a condition of the CNS. But it is used to check for other conditions. I had the EMG as part of my work-up, and it's not bad. You're laying down, so you don't see the needles, and it really doesn't hurt that much.

You didn't mention what symptoms you're having, but if you're neuro wants to check for MS, she may want to add the spine to your MRI.
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Re: EEG and EMG/NCS

Postby Wendigo » Fri May 29, 2009 12:19 pm

LoveActually wrote:Hi Everyone,

I saw my neurologist for the 1st time this past Wednesday. Unfortunately, she was not the type of doctor I want taking care of what may be a very serious issue. The highlight of the appointment was when she told my husband to open her office door and go down the hall to tell her receptionist that she needed another prescription pad.

After only being able to tell her half of my issues, (she's the rushing type) she scheduled me for a Brain MRI (which was expected), an EEG and an EMG/NCS. The EEG is going to be a 72 hour one. I've read all about that so I'm prepared for it. The EMG, I'm a little worried about. I can't even read about it because I saw somewhere that there's a needle under the skin and they move it around. YUK!

Here are my questions...

1. Are an EEG and EMG/NCS normal test for symptoms pointing towards MS?
2. The EMG/NCS, I don't need any details (frankly because I don't think I could handle it) but can you tell me how bad it was if you've had one?

Thank you.


I had EMG and nerve conduction studies. I found the test in which I was required to move a muscle while the needle was in it the most challenging.

Your little one sure is a cutie :)
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Postby Loobie » Fri May 29, 2009 1:18 pm

They did Evoked Potentials to see if the nerve transmission times are delayed on me, but I'm unsure of the acronym. I don't know what the needle under the skin thing is but it sure sounds like no fun!
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Postby LoveActually » Fri May 29, 2009 1:21 pm

Thanks guys! And thank you Wendigo regarding your comment about my daughter. :D

I don't do well with needles (frequent fainter), I had to have my hubs read the description for the EMG testing because I just couldn't make it through without getting nausea's. LOL! I can take a shot but IV's and needles under the skin while moving my muscles, oh goodness.

The reason I was wondering about these test's is because my doctor didn't even hear half of the symptoms I was having. During my short experience (3 weeks) with the possibility or maybe having MS, I've learned that it is a lengthy process to diagnose this disease. I am ok with that, as long as I'm not being dragged through a painful procedure that may not be necessary to rule out other things.

My Symptoms (whether MS related or not)..

What she heard...

Frequent Headaches
Migraines
Heat Sensitivity
Pins and Needles
Numbness
Vertigo

What she didn't hear...

Hallucinations
Floaters
Eye's going black
Hands Shaking
Loss of pheriphal vision
Body Twitch
Poor Circulation
Dizziness
Bruise Easily

Thank you again for you comments. I'm still worried about the EMG test but I guess I'll have to put on my big girl panties and get it done. Will they let my hubs come in with me?
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Postby rainer » Fri May 29, 2009 3:52 pm

Don't know if they'll let your husband in, probably not into the exam room though.

Uncomfortable is the best word I can use to describe these tests. They don't hurt but you just feel like "hey, could you not do that to me, jerkwad?"

I have had the neurologist tune-out routine. (I have no clue why they even ASK if they don't actually want to hear.) One way to counter this is to come in with a ready made list, keep it as concise as can be and list them in order of importance i.e. if you had a magic wand to rid yourself of one symptom, which would come first. It's better to hand them the list then read it aloud.

good luck and cute kid!
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Postby ellen » Fri May 29, 2009 4:12 pm

I have major needle issues and started passing out during my first emg. Dr. rescheduled appt and gave me a low dose of valium. Made it through the next time.

Ellen
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Postby 71jules » Fri May 29, 2009 6:37 pm

Hi and sorry about what you're going through.

I think you and I may have a lot in common, my current post are PLEASE HELP,I AM SO SCARED and RESULTS ARE IN AND I AM CONFUSED and I have added to one with my name on it jules.

I too am having to go for an EEG and I am extremely needle phobic although this test doesn't involve needles.

If you would like to chat further don't hesitate to pm me.

Take care.

Hugs
Jules
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Postby oreo » Fri May 29, 2009 7:03 pm

Just had an EMG done last month. I complained to my nuro that I had been having numbness / loss of sensation in my right hand. He sent me for the EMG. Turns out I have a mild case of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, unrelated to my MS.

As for the test, it comes in two parts.

For the first part they stick electrode pads in various places. Then they zap you with mild electrical shocks to measure nerve conductivity.

The second part, if necessary, does involve a small needle. BUT they do not move it around when it is in you. They do however stick it in several different places, one at a time. While not entirely pleasant, it is over pretty quickly.
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Postby Wendigo » Fri May 29, 2009 8:29 pm

I seem to remember that movement of the needle must have produced a nerve response that was picked up by electrodes and went to a machine. Again and again the doctor kept moving the needle when it was in me, which generated lots of noise, clicking sounds. Ultimately she was looking for silence when there was no movement at all, electrical silence at rest. Despite many attempts, that was never achieved on testing of my left side. There was always "noise." That had to have been the nerve conduction study as it was testing or measuring nerve responses.
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Postby JenniferF » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:58 pm

Both my emg's were not problem. Helps that I was having numbness -- I think people who get emg's for pain-related symptoms might have a more difficult time.

Also helped that both guys who did them were pro's. The first made a deal at the outset that if he did anything that hurt, I could do it back to him. That really helped me relax.

Jen.
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Postby whyRwehere » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:29 am

My husband had the MRI and the LP (which he doesn't want again). Combined with his symptoms, he was diagnosed rather quickly. He only had one of those evoked response tests about 1 or 2 years later, and I can't remember why. Anyhow, nobody should rush to get the diagnosis, get other things in order in the meantime.
I am curious about your hallucinations. What were those, are you still getting them and how often. (I have never heard of that as a symptom of MS).
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Postby sara33 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:24 pm

jeez. the military is cheap. they don't want to spend the money to do the mri with and without contrast. which would be a pretty darn simple way to see if you had a demylinating disease.
sara, ex rn
old navy wife, lala, we were in the navy when i got my diagnosis and i had to scream and shout to get an mri. did you get my earlier response? you might have to fight a little with your doc here...
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Postby sara33 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:27 pm

and sometimes, you and the doc just don't mesh. it's your money. s/he has to do their job to YOUR satisfaction. don't let them run you over girl
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