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Clinical neurophysiology

Clinical Neurophysiology: – Studies central and peripheral nervous systems through recording bioelectrical activity – Includes research on pathophysiology and clinical methods for diagnosing nervous system […]

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Clinical Neurophysiology:

– Studies central and peripheral nervous systems through recording bioelectrical activity
– Includes research on pathophysiology and clinical methods for diagnosing nervous system diseases
– Tests measure electrical functions of brain, spinal cord, nerves, limbs, and muscles
– Mainly used for diagnosing diseases rather than treatment
– Hospitals with neurologists and neurosurgeons tend to have clinical neurophysiology departments

In the United States:

– Pathway to becoming a clinical neurophysiologist involves undergraduate degree, medical school, and postgraduate education
– Fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology may lead to board certification
– Fellowships expose clinicians to various electrodiagnostic neurophysiologic studies
– Duration of clinical neurophysiology fellowships is generally 1-2 years
– Programs in the U.S. focus on a broad spectrum of studies or specific areas like EEG or electrodiagnostic medicine

In the United Kingdom:

– Neurophysiological investigations are typically performed by medical staff or clinical physiologists
– Clinical physiologists undergo four years of training and an honours degree
– Physiologists conduct EEGs, evoked potentials, and some nerve conduction studies
– Reports are provided by physiology or medical staff
– Professional organizations include the British Society for Clinical Neurophysiology and the Association of Neurophysiological Scientists

Relationship to Electrodiagnostic Medicine:

– Subset of clinical neurophysiology focusing on the peripheral nervous system
– Clinical neurophysiologists perform EEG, intraoperative monitoring, nerve conduction studies, EMG, and evoked potentials
– Electrodiagnostic physicians mainly focus on nerve conduction studies, needle EMG, and evoked potentials
– Certification examinations are provided by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine
– American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology certifies in EEG, EP, PSG, epilepsy monitoring, and NIOM

Neurophysiologists in Hospitals:

– Responsible for analyzing and reporting on tests within the department
– Interpret results and convey information to referring doctors
– Common tests include EMG and nerve conduction recordings
– Work in larger hospitals with specialized staff units
– Important role in diagnosing nervous system diseases


– Clinical Neurophysiology. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2008-06-07
– Neurophysiology Tests. 18 January 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2018
– Home – American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Retrieved 23 March 2018
– Archived copy (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-01-20. Retrieved 2015-01-19

Clinical neurophysiology (Wikipedia)

Clinical neurophysiology is a medical specialty that studies the central and peripheral nervous systems through the recording of bioelectrical activity, whether spontaneous or stimulated. It encompasses both research regarding the pathophysiology along with clinical methods used to diagnose diseases involving both central and peripheral nervous systems. Examinations in the clinical neurophysiology field are not limited to tests conducted in a laboratory. It is thought of as an extension of a neurologic consultation. Tests that are conducted are concerned with measuring the electrical functions of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves in the limbs and muscles. It can give the precise definition of site, the type and degree of the lesion, along with revealing the abnormalities that are in question. Due to these abilities, clinical neurophysiology is used to mainly help diagnose diseases rather than treat them.[citation needed]

In some countries it is a part of neurology or psychiatry, for example the United States and Germany. In other countries it is an autonomous specialty, such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Hospitals that have neurologists and neurosurgeons tend to house clinical neurophysiology departments. Usually these tend to be larger hospitals that are able to employ more specialized staff units. In hospitals that possess clinical neurophysiology facilities, the major diagnostic modalities employed include:

  • Electromyography and nerve conduction studies: These diagnostic tests of the peripheral nervous system are especially useful in evaluating diseases of the muscles, nerves, and nerve roots. The basis of these tests is recording electrical activity of the muscles and the passage of electric signal along the nerves in the limbs. The disorders of nerve and muscle can either be acute (which means they rather come quickly), or have a slow developing nature. An online tool that allows the interactive exploration of these neurophysiological methods and of symptoms to which they are related can be found here.
  • Electroencephalography: Diagnostic test of thalamocortical rhythms (brain waves), useful in evaluating seizures and various abnormalities of the central nervous system. This is done by hooking up electrodes on the surface of the scalp to record currents from the cerebral cortex.
  • Evoked potentials: Diagnostic test evaluating specific tracts of the central and peripheral nervous system. May include visual, auditory, or somatosensory evoked potentials. These record the electrical responses of the brain and spinal cord to the stimulation of the senses.
  • Polysomnography: A type of sleep study employed to diagnose disorders associated with abnormal sleep behavior
  • Intraoperative monitoring, Intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring:
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