Laboratory examination of the clear, watery, colorless fluid from within the brain and spinal cord. Infections and the abnormal presence of blood can be detected in this test.
cerebrospinal fluid analysis
Injection of radioactive isotopes into the circulation to determine the function and abnormality of the brain.
X-ray of the blood vessels of the brain after the injection of a radiopaque dye.
Recording of the ultrasonic echoes of the brain; useful in determining abnormal patterns of shifting in the brain.
Injection of a radiopaque dye into the spinal canal. An X-ray is then taken to examine the normal and abnormal outlines made by the dye.
Use of positive radionuclides to reconstruct brain sections. Measurements can be taken of oxygen and glucose uptake, cerebral blood flow, and blood volume.
positron emission tomography (PET)
Reflex test to determine lesions and abnormalities in the nervous system. The Babinski reflex is present if the great toe extends instead of flexes when the lateral sole of the foot is stroked. The normal response to this stimulation would be a flexion, or upward movement, of the toe.
Recording the electrical activity of the brain by placing electrodes at various positions on the scalp. Also used in sleep studies to determine if there is a normal pattern of activity during sleep.
Puncture with a needle into the lumbar area (usually the fourth intervertebral space) to withdraw fluid for examination and for the injection of anesthesia.
aka spinal puncture or spinal tap
A test to determine if nerves have been damaged by recording the rate at which an electrical impulse travels along a nerve. If the nerve is damaged, the velocity will be decreased.
nerve conduction velocity
This anesthetic interrupts a patient's pain sensation in a particular region of the body. Injection of regional anesthetic to stop the passage of sensory or pain impulses along a nerve path.
aka regional anesthesia
Surgical procedure for removing an obstruction within the carotid artery, a major artery in the neck that carries oxygenated blood to the brain. Developed to prevent strokes but found to be useful only in severe stenosis with TIA.
A surgical procedure in which a bypass is created to drain cerebrospinal fluid. It is used to treat hydrocephalus by draining the excess cerebrospinal fluid from the brain and diverting it to the abdominal cavity.
cerebrospinal fluid shunts
Removal of a portion of a vertebra in order to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve.
Surgical interruption of a nerve tract in the spinal cord. Incision into a spinal cord tract. Done to treat intractable pain or muscle spasms.
non-narcotic med to treat minor to moderate pain
drug that produces a loss of sensation or a loss of consciousness
substance that reduces the excitability of neurons & therefore prevents the uncontrolled neuron activity associated with seizures
group of meds to treat Parkinson's disease by either replacing the dopamine that is lacking or increasing the strength of the dopamine that is present
drug that promotes sleep
drug used to treat severe pain; has the potential to be habit forming if taken for a prolonged time