Electrodiagnostic studies in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other motor neuron disorders

J R Daube
Muscle & Nerve 2000, 23 (10): 1488-502
The clinical electrodiagnostic medicine (EDX) consultant asked to assess patients with suspected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has a number of responsibilities. Among the most important is to provide a clinical assessment in conjunction with the EDX study. The seriousness of the diagnoses and their enormous personal and economic impact require a high-quality EDX study based on a thorough knowledge of and experience with motor neuron diseases (MNDs) and related disorders. Clinical evaluation will help determine which of the EDX tools available to the EDX consultant should be applied in individual patients. Although electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction study are the most valuable, each of the following may be helpful in the assessment of selected patients based on their clinical findings: repetitive nerve stimulation, motor unit number estimate, single-fiber EMG, somatosensory evoked potential, autonomic function test, and polysomnography. The pertinent literature on these is reviewed in this monograph. The selection and application of these EDX tools depend on a thorough knowledge of the MNDs and related disorders.

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