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There are a number of tests which are in routine use in the investigation of neurological disease.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has revolutionised the investigation of structural abnormalities, or lesions, particularly with respect to the central nervous system - brain and spinal cord.  Tumour, Inflammatory disease (such as seen in Multiple Sclerosis) and Stroke are particularly well demonstrated in this way. 

Neurophysiology techniques are better at detecting functional disturbance in Neurology.  Nerve Condution Studies - NCS, & Electromyography - EMG, are used to look at function in the peripheral nervous system (nerve roots & plexus,  peripheral nerves, neuro-muscular junction) and muscle.  Electroencephalography - EEG, and Evoked Potential studies - EPs, give valuable information about brain and spinal cord function. 

Thus, in general terms, MRI and Neurophysiology complement each other nicely.

Ocassionally, it may be necessary to examine the Cerebro-Spinal Fluid or CSF at lumbar puncture (LP), to look for evidence of inflammation, infection or cancer.

Rarely, removing a piece of tissue for microscopic examination, a biopsy, is required - most usually of nerve and/or muscle, most infrequently brain. 

 


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