Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)

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Tuesday

MS Sensory Evoked Potentials testing could be a spy tool




Have you ever experienced the Sensory Evoked Potentials test?

This medical test, often used to diagnose multiple sclerosis, probably ought to be classified as a governmental intelligence device.

Seriously, it could work that way.

If you’ve had a sensory evoked potentials (SEP) test, you know exactly what I mean.

They call it non-invasive. They say it’s not painful.

They’re kidding.

Sure, it’s no spinal tap / lumbar puncture (Watch for more on that later.). But it’s still no picnic, either.

The patient sits in a tiny room, usually in a medical center or hospital, for the Sensory Evoked Potentials test. A medical staffer comes in and sticks little electrodes to the patient’s scalp (and perhaps along the spine). These are attached to wires that connect to electrodes stuck on the patient’s extremities.

Then the medical person steps out.

That’s where it gets dicey.

Electrical impulses (Seriously? Let’s just call them shocks.) are administered. For multiple sclerosis diagnostic purposes, the timing of the brain’s response to the shock stimuli is the key. This is called the latency, and it is supposed to fall within a normal or abnormal range, based on statistical averages.

Not painful?

C’mon now.

Before the actual test begins, the medical staffer turns up the heat (so to speak), notch by notch, stopping just as the patient’s relevant extremities (such as fingers and toes) begin to twitch.

I’ve had this test, and I’m just glad I don’t possess any national security secrets.

And I have to admit: I’m a little surprised my hair didn’t streak out grey on the spot. That wouldn’t have shocked me one bit.

Image/s:
Electric Shock
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