Investigations In Neurology
Much of the progress in clinical neurology during the last two decades has come from the development of new diagnostic procedures. The most dramatic progress has occurred in the field of neuroimaging, where computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging have revolutionalized the diagnosis of central nervous system diseases. Advances in ultrasound technology such as duplex and colour Doppler have made diagnostic ultrasonography the primary non-invasive technique for screening the cerebrovascular system. PET and SPECT are powerful imaging techniques which enable in vivo examination of brain function. They are increasingly being used in clinical neurology to improve the understanding of disease pathogenesis, to aid with diagnosis, and to monitor disease progression and response to treatment. Electrodiagnostic studies, including EMG, nerve conduction studies, and evoked potentials, are integrated methods used in the evaluation of patients with neuromuscular disorders. The diagnosis of neuromuscular disorders also sometimes requires the biopsy of nerves or muscles. The EEG's major clinical application is in epilepsy where it is fundamental in the classification of epileptic seizures and syndromes. Despite moves towards less invasive neurodiagnostic procedures, lumbar puncture with CSF analysis remains useful in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of CNS disorders, especially CNS infections. Similarly, brain biopsy is considered essential in the diagnosis and appropriate management of most primary brain tumours.
NQJHM Vol. 15 (1) 2005: pp. 23-29