Based on the results of a neurological exam, physical exam, review of patient records, and any previous screening or testing, the physicians at Tallahassee Neurological Clinic may order additional diagnostic tests.
Diagnostic tests and procedures are vital tools in aiding our physicians to confirm or rule out the presence of a neurological condition, disorder, or injury. There are a number of diagnostic tools and techniques available to our physicians, many of which can be performed in our office or at an outpatient testing facility.
Click a link below to learn more about the neurology procedures used by our neurologists:
An EEG (Electroencephalogram) is a painless test that is used to record the electrical activity of your brain. The test involves pasting small sensors (electrodes) to your scalp. These electrodes are connected by wires to a computer that help determine how your brain is functioning. The computer records your brain’s electrical activity on the screen or on paper as wavy lines. Certain conditions, such as seizures, can be seen by the changes in the normal pattern of your brain’s electrical activity.
The test takes about 1 hour to complete. There are several types of EEGs, and your doctor will order the appropriate test to evaluate your symptoms.
To prepare for the test, be sure your hair is clean and dry. Do not use any styling products such as hairspray or oil. Also, remove any hair weaves, extensions, braids, or glue before your test. You may take your regular medications before the test.
This test is similar to a regular EEG, except that you will be asked to have no more than 3 hours of sleep within the 24 hours prior to the test. Children under the age of 12 who take this test are asked to remain awake from midnight until the exam time. Do not eat or drink anything containing caffeine between midnight and the time of your test. A sleep-deprived EEG takes 1½ to 2 hours.
This test is similar to a regular EEG except that you will be fitted with portable EEG equipment to collect brain activity over a 24-hour period. An EEG technologist will place 8 to 10 small sensors (electrodes) on your scalp with a glue-like adhesive. These electrodes will be connected to a small, lightweight cassette tape recorder that attaches to a strap or belt around your shoulder or waist. This equipment records your brain waves. Set-up time for this test takes about 60 minutes and is painless. You’ll be given a diary in which to record all your activities, any abnormal sensations, or seizures you may experience. Do not touch your head after the equipment has been attached, as it will interfere with the recording. The day after the testing period is complete, you will return to the office to have the equipment removed.
EMG and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS) measure and record electrical activity from specific muscles and nerves. They are most often used to assess symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness. These tests take less than one hour. Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) is a common measurement made during an NCS. This test is used to evaluate electrical conduction of the motor and sensory nerves. Symptoms that might prompt this study include numbness, tingling, and/or burning sensations. A nerve conduction study is usually done first. It involves the use of a series of small electrical shocks to muscles in specific areas of your arms or legs. Although usually not painful, you may experience a brief tingling sensation during the tests. Electromyography (EMG) is a technique for evaluating and recording the activation signal of muscles. EMG screening is used as a diagnostic tool for identifying the cause of pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the muscles or nerves. The EMG part of the test involves the insertion of a very small needle into different muscles. You may experience a slight amount of discomfort as the needle is inserted, but they generally are not painful. You will then be asked to relax and move certain muscles. The results of the test are available upon completion of the test. The test provides valuable information to your physician, aiding in the diagnosis and treatment of your condition. There are no lasting effects from the test. Your symptoms do not have to be present for the test to be accurate.
To prepare for an EMG, please observe the following: Bathe or shower on the day of the test. Wash your arms and legs well to remove body oils. Do not use lotions, bath oils, or creams. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. Eat your normal meals and take your regular medications as directed. Bring a list of medications you are taking, especially any blood thinners.
How Botox Injections Help Neurological Disorders
Botox is best known for its ability to reduce the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles, but it also yields many important medical benefits. Regular Botox injections can help with a variety of neurological conditions as well as the pain and other symptoms that can be associated with them.
What is Botox?
Botox is a drug that’s made from a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, an organism that’s found in the natural environment. Dr. Ortiz can precisely inject it in small doses to weak or paralyze specific muscles or to block specific nerves.
What Type of Neurological Disorders Can Be Treated with Botox?
Botox can help stop muscle contractions, so it can be used to treat involuntary muscle movement disorders. And it also blocks nerve endings from sending pain signals, so it can also help with some conditions related to chronic pain.
The following are some of the neurological disorders that can be treated with Botox at Tallahassee Neurological Clinic:
- Chronic migraines
- Cervical dystonia – a neurological disorder that causes severe contractions of the neck and shoulder muscles
- Blepharospasm – severe uncontrollable blinking
- Twitching of muscles on one side of the face
- Continued tightness or stiffness or a muscle – including cases due to stroke, brain injury, or multiple sclerosis
- Excessive sweating or drooling
What’s Involved with Botox Treatment?
Dr. Ortiz will consult with you to determine if Botox is an appropriate treatment. You’ll be able to ask questions and receive information, and an appointment for treatment will be scheduled once insurance authorization is obtained. Our appointments are every 90 days, in some cases every 180 days.
Botox injections are usually quick and relatively simple. You may feel a little pain or pressure, but it’s usually not enough to need a local anesthetic. No preparation is necessary, but let your doctor know if you’re taking medication, including blood thinners.
During the treatment, your doctor will use small needles to precisely inject Botox under the skin or into muscles. Botox treatments are performed in an exam room, and you can go home immediately afterward.
Since neurons generate new nerve endings that reactivate muscle contractions, you may need treatment every 3 to 4 months. In addition, physical or occupational therapy may also be used in some cases.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for Botox Treatment?
Dr. Ortiz will work with you to develop a treatment plan for your particular condition. You’ll discuss your symptoms (including their severity and duration) as well as other forms of treatments you may have tried.
Many people are good candidates for Botox, but it may not be appropriate if any of the following apply to you:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Allergies to a Botox ingredient
- Skin infection at planned injection site
If you have a neurological condition that’s causing pain or other symptoms that could be helped with Botox injections, with a referral from your primary care physician make an appointment with Tallahassee Neurological.