Children visit the Neurophysiology laboratory for testing and monitoring of symptoms related to seizures, paroxysmal disorders, or neuromuscular diseases. Our team is proud to be part of one of the best epilepsy surgery programs in Canada, finding solutions for children whose seizures had been intractable. Our team members evaluate children with drug-resistant epilepsy – those who have ongoing seizures despite trials of at least two anti-epileptic medications. For these children, other treatment approaches are considered including the ketogenic diet and various surgical interventions.
We perform a variety of tests including:
Electroencephalography (EEG): EEG measures the electrical patterns in the brain. Standard EEG is a painless and safe procedure which involves recording electrodes placed on the scalp. EEG recordings are useful when evaluating children with possible seizures or other signs of brain dysfunction.
Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction studies: EMG is the evaluation and recording of electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles. Nerve conduction studies are used to evaluate the health of the nerves in our arms, legs, and other parts of the body outside the brain. These tests are helpful when evaluating children with suspected neuromuscular diseases. The department also offers monitoring services for the departments of Neurosurgery and Orthopedics.
Evoked potential: An evoked potential is the electrical response of the brain to a sensory stimulus. This procedure is performed on a child to see how they react to a certain situation when the stimulus is brought on in a controlled medical environment. Evoked potentials are used to test the functioning of the pathways that detect a sensory stimulus and convey that information to the brain.
Electrocorticography (ECoG), or intracranial EEG (iEEG): ECoG and iEEG are techniques the use of electrodes placed directly on, or in, brain tissue in order to collect information that allows precise localization of regions of the brain that may be giving rise to seizure. ECoG may be performed either in the operating room during surgery (intraoperative ECoG) or outside the surgery room (extraoperative ECoG). In the case of surgery, this procedure is used to explore the functional anatomy of the brain, mapping speech areas and identifying the somatosensory and somatomotor cortex areas that would not be surgically removed.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS): VNS involves surgical implantation of a pacemaker-like device in the chest, with an electrode that applies electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve, located in the neck. This technique is used for drug-resistant epilepsy when other surgical intervention is not appropriate or possible. The stimulation settings are adjusted by a neurologist using an external device.