nervous! !!!!

Got my date for nerve conduction testing, next tues!!! That Came through very quick … im so nervous coz I dont know what to expect! !! :frowning: Vickie x

Hi Vickie,

Evoked Potential (EP) tests

Evoked Potential tests are procedures for measuring the speed of impulses along neurons. Responses can be measured using EEG readings from electrodes attached to the scalp and occasionally other areas of the skin. Although this may sound like something from Frankenstein, they are in fact completely painless and entirely harmless. Based on input signals to the particular sense being measured, the time taken for that response to register can be accurately measured and compared to normal readings. The results are then analysed on a computer and average speeds recorded.

Demyelinated neurons transmit nerve signals slower than non-demyelinated ones and this can be detected with EP tests. Although they may appear to function perfectly, even remyelinated neurons are slower than normal nerves and so historical lesions can be detected in this way.

There are three main types of evoked potential test:

Visually Evoked Potential (VEP)

This test measures the speed of the optic nerve. The patient has to focus on the centre of a “TV” screen on which there is a black and white chequered pattern. Each square in the pattern alternates between black and white at measured intervals. The patient wears a patch on one eye for a while and then on the other, so that the speed of both optic nerves can be measured.

85-90% of people with definite MS and 58% of people with probable MS will have abnormal VEP test results.

Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER)

The BAER test measures the speed of impulses along the auditory portion of Cranial Nerve VIII. This nerve arises in the Pons area of the Brainstem and therefore this test may be indicative of lesions in that area. The patient lies down in a darkened room to prevent visual signals from interfering with measurements. A series of clicks and beeps are played back to the patient.

67% of people with definite MS and 41% of people with probable MS will have abnormal BAER test results.

SomatoSensory Evoked Potential (SSEP)

The SSEP test involves strapping an electrical stimulus around an arm or leg. The current is switched on for 5 seconds and electrodes on the back and skull measure the response at particular junctions. The current is very low indeed and completely painless. The speed of various nerves can be measured in this way and the points of slow-down (i.e. demyelinated lesions) approximated to because of the sampling at several places.

77% of people with definite MS and 67% of people with probable MS will have abnormal SSEP test results.

Slow nerve responses in any of these tests are not necessarily indicative of MS but can be used in conjunction with a neurological examination, medical history, an MRI and a spinal tap to deduce some kind of diagnosis.


I had an evoke potential test just over a week ago where they put electrodes on my head and i had to watch a black and white chequered screen. It is painless and doesnt take too long but they don’t tell you any results, they get sent back to your neurologist so i haven’t heard anything yet.

Hi Iam new to this forum. Just interested in understanding the process of MS investigations - I have suffered all main symptoms in relation to MS for many years now. And gone through test such as the electrodes and MRI etc. but they did not back then (15 years ago) find anything substantial to diagnose me with MS and bascially said it was Fibromyalgia. However I have more relapses (fatique, muscle spasams, numbness of face and limbs, pins/needles, blurred vision and verigo, loss of balance …the list goes on) and repeated symptoms that are now closer together, that last longer in durations - so looks likely all these tests are to be done again. What I suppose Iam asking is that although I may have symptoms - if there are no leisons this time to be seen (although I will have to have lumbar puncture) will I still be in this ‘no-man’s land’? Is there anyone who has gone through such an ordeal to actually get the correct diagnosis eventually.

Thanks for the info annon and Zipster… I did get some info about the tests…but also got some info on some other tests EMG this is the one im worried about … the sticking of needles into my muscles. … cringe!!! :frowning: Also not sure which tests im having either!! I asked the lady when I called the bookings line!! she didnt know either, couldn’t read nuros hand writing. Lol… Vickie x

I had the EMG recently. The nerve testing is fine but the muscle one did leave me with huge bruises but did not hurt to have done. Nothing to worry about.

Thanks Dinks

Thats reassuring to know… Im sure it’ll be ok :slight_smile: just not good with needles! !

Vickie x

Hi all!! Just an up date !!!

Today i had my nerve test, had emg test… :frowning: which I found a little uncomfortable but the pain was manageable.

But not as bad as I thought it was going to be… think my mum was more scared than me… she cant stand the sight of needles. :frowning:

Just waiting now for results , but not due to see nuro until june!!!

Vickie x