Specialized Neurological Testing and Procedures

One hundred years ago, the only way to make a positive diagnosis for many neurological disorders was to perform an autopsy after a patient’s death. Decades of scientific research has led to the development of powerful tools that allow us to see the inside of living brains and monitor nervous system activities in real time. A neurologist with additional training in clinical neurophysiology can properly interpret the results and help produce a more accurate diagnosis.

Dr. Joy Zhao is fellowship trained and board certified in both neurology and clinical neurophysiology. Besides general neurology, she also has more than fifteen years of hands–on clinical experience with various neurological tests and procedures. These qualifications lead to her ability to seamlessly integrate all pieces in the medical process, including diagnosis, testing, evaluation, and treatment. Consequently, she can react more responsively to the patient’s needs. We consider this to be a competitive advantage of Integrated Neurology Health Services.

Currently, the following specialized tests and procedures are offered at our clinic:

A procedure for measuring and recording electrical activity in a patient’s brain. Special sensors (electrodes and cameras) are attached to the head and connected by wire to a computer. The computer then records the electrical activity of the brain on the monitor screen as wavy lines. Certain conditions, such as seizures, can be discovered through analysis on changes in the pattern of the brain’s electrical activity. The service is provided in collaboration with Highline Medical Center in Burien, WA.

Used to diagnose nerve and muscle dysfunction as well as diseases of the spinal cord. It records the electrical activity from the brain and/or spinal cord to a peripheral nerve root (found in the arms and legs) that controls muscles during contraction and at rest. During an EMG, very fine wire electrodes are inserted into a muscle to assess changes in electrical voltage that occur during movement and when the muscle is at rest. The electrodes are then attached, through a series of wires, to a recording device.

A relatively recent technological innovation that allows EEG recording remotely and continuously for several days. This capability significantly increases the chance of capturing abnormal electrical activity in a patient’s brain. This procedure helps confirm an epilepsy diagnosis or the existence of unknown seizures. It is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment plan for a seizure disorder, nocturnal or sleep–related events, or syncope (a sudden and temporary loss of consciousness).