The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system, which is responsible for sending and receiving information from various parts of the body. It also controls musculoskeletal reflexes. When something goes wrong in the brain or spinal cord, it can cause a catastrophic, rippling effect in the body. You may have a wide range of symptoms. In order to diagnose your condition, your neurologist may recommend getting an ultrasound.
Also called sonography, ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to capture images of structures in the body. An ultrasound permits a specialist to view organs and to assess whether they are normal or if disease or injury is present. This eliminates the need for exploratory surgery and other invasive measures to come up with a diagnosis.
An ultrasound is performed using a hand-held device connected to a monitor. To perform the ultrasound, a technician or physician passes the device over the target area and the image appears on the screen in real-time. At that time, the images can be saved for printing and record-keeping.
Some people are fearful of getting an ultrasound, particularly when it is done on the brain or spinal cord. However, you should not be scared of getting an ultrasound. Among the many imaging techniques used to diagnose conditions in the brain or spinal cord, ultrasound is of the most comfortable and safest options. While not many people associate ultrasounds with neurology, it is a very common imaging technique used to see developing babies in pregnant women. Ultrasound is painless, completely non-invasive, and does not involve any radiation.
Brain Waves Measured By Ultrasound
A transcranial doppler is a type of ultrasound that screens for hemorrhage caused by a narrowing of arteries. The narrowing occurs when blood vessels contract. The contractions can be persistent and are recognized as vasoconstriction. The velocity at which blood flows through arteries can be determined by viewing images recorded in an ultrasound.
Types of Ultrasounds Used in Neurology
Like most ultrasounds, a transcranial doppler ultrasound can be performed in your doctor’s office, but patients also undergo ultrasounds in a hospital and testing center.
Arteries in the neck supply blood to the brain. If one or more of the arteries narrow, it may lead to an ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke is when the brain isn’t receiving enough oxygen-rich blood. An extracranial ultrasound can determine if there’s a blocked artery. An ultrasound, particularly a duplex ultrasound, can evaluate blood flow through the four arteries in the back of the neck.
A carotid ultrasound is used to see the carotid artery. This ultrasound uses sound waves to detect the narrowing of the carotid artery or the presence of blockages in the area. These issues can occur when plaque invades the lining of the carotid artery.
Ultrasound in Palm Beach, Florida
If you need to get an ultrasound done for a neurological condition or injury, visit the experts at Independent Imaging. We offer a variety of diagnostic imaging tests, including those commonly used in neurology. Call us at (561) 795-5558 to make an appointment, or request one online.