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MRI, EEG, EMG - June 4th 2012, 02:53 AM

I'm getting all of these tests done next week and am kinda nervous about them. Have any of you guys had these tests done, and if so, do you have any words of advice?

The one the freaks me out the most is the EMG. Getting needles shoved into my legs and then getting shocked randomly doesn't sound like the greatest way to spend a friday morning, y'know?

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Re: MRI, EEG, EMG - June 4th 2012, 05:43 AM

I've had an MRI, but none of the others... I was fine with the MRI because I actually like enclosed spaces, but my mother had to be heavily drugged before she could do the test because she is really claustrophobic. So, if you have issues with small spaces, you may not do the best with that one.

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Re: MRI, EEG, EMG - June 4th 2012, 08:35 PM

I too have had an MRI but none of the others, sorry. My MRI was very very long though like 2 hours >.> and I totally agree that if you're not good with small spaces it's not so great, but it was fine for me. I got to watch a movie

Good luck

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Re: MRI, EEG, EMG - June 5th 2012, 01:03 AM

I've had an MRI, a CT, and countless ECGs.

MRIs are alright, they're noisy though. You should be offered either headphones or earplugs. I took the earplugs. (They were scanning my brain.) You also have to change into different clothing - like a hospital johnny thing that's provided for you, so that any metal in your clothing and stuff doesn't interfere. You'll also have to take out any piercings, metal jewellery, and metal hairpieces.

All I know about EEGs is that they put things on your head and then measure your brainwaves but it doesn't look like a stressful or invasive procedure.

I don't know much about EMG aside from what I just wiki'd, but by the sounds of things they won't be using needles unless they consider it completely necessary (if you've already been told they'll be using needles, disregard what I just said.). Even so, although the needles may be long, they most likely won't be very thick, and it's being done for your health.

Also what I read didn't mention anything about being shocked, what I read said that they're measuring something like the electrical potential of your muscles. And that they measure it at rest, and when you move the muscle. I would assume (although I'm definitely not an expert) that shocking the muscles may be counterproductive.

Anywho I hope all your scans go well and give you some sort of resolution. Let us know.
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Re: MRI, EEG, EMG - June 5th 2012, 01:10 AM

I had an MRI but it was for my jaw, so I had to lay there for about an hour while all the way inside a tube... not fun but not the worst... at least not until they put in the contrasting "dye" into my veins that tasted like pennies, that was gross.
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Re: MRI, EEG, EMG - June 5th 2012, 03:26 AM

I haven't had such scans, although I've examined the results of some of them. Of the three, EEGs are the most painless and least restrictive. You'll get electrodes attached to your scalp using this sticky gel-like substance. There can also be a "hat" of electrodes, although normally I've seen that used for children and not for adults. The only problem you would face is removing the gel-like substance, as it takes a few long showers to completely eliminate. Since EEGs measure the neural electrical activity, depending on the reason for why you're having it, there may be additional requirements, such as no sleep for 24 hours prior.

EMGs are akin to EEGs for measuring the activity of motor neurons and muscle activity. One of the differences is there are different types of measurements, some of which require very fine needles inserted into the muscle, whereas others will simply be on the surface. Although the former sounds rather unpleasant, keep in mind the needles are very fine and not all patients find it painful. I cant tell you which you'll get as it depends on why you're getting it and what is being measured but I assume your doctor has decided on the latter. The benefit of using the fine needles is that you can perform additional measurements, such as a nerve conduction study, in which the speed and rate of neurotransmission is measured. These types of studies are extremely valuable for neurodegenerative diseases, certain injuries and long-term diseases. I cant tell you how EMGs feel because I've only performed them in a research course on non-human specimens that were knocked out prior. Unfortunately, you may be required to move the particular muscle so you wouldn't get a pain-killer.

MRIs can be very uncomfortable and bothersome, more so than EEGs and EMGs. They tend to be very loud even with ear plugs. The main issue is claustrophobia, which can be addressed by a sedative since the brain structure is being examined as opposed to the brain activity. Unfortunately, MRI scans take quite a long time. To improve the image quality, you may receive some type of contrast agent, most likely it will contain gadolinium, an interesting rare Earth metal on the periodic table of elements. Less common agents are super iron oxide and iron platinum. Most are given by i.v., although you probably won't even feel it being injected. The one benefit of MRIs is you're given a little joystick button that you can press if you feel too uncomfortable. Such an option isn't available with EMGs nor EEGs.

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Re: MRI, EEG, EMG - June 5th 2012, 03:35 AM

I've had an MRI done, which I wasn't exactly fond of because I'm claustrophobic. However, they played the radio station I wanted & kept me posted on what was going on, so it wasn't all that bad.
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Re: MRI, EEG, EMG - June 5th 2012, 03:10 PM

I've had sererl EEGs done while I have been in hospital and they were fine. I'm sure the others will be okay too. Try not to worry too much! I hope it all goes well for you.

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Re: MRI, EEG, EMG - June 18th 2012, 08:28 AM

Ik this is way late and everything but I just got those tests done recently, but I was wondering why did you get these tests done? I wanna see if we have similar symptoms

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Re: MRI, EEG, EMG - June 18th 2012, 04:30 PM

Well, I have had MRI's, X-rays, and an ECG done, and have to get a CT scan soon. The MRI was no biggie, but it only involved my leg so yeah, it wasn't that bad
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Re: MRI, EEG, EMG - June 18th 2012, 05:04 PM

Thanks for all of the responses everyone, I really appreciate it! I got through all of the tests without too much trouble. Though I swear that MRI machine was WAYYYY smaller than the ones they show on House. And the EMG was practically torture--getting my nerves tazered and muscles stabbed... so not fun. Luckily all of these tests were way shorter than expected. I thought they were all going to take an hour each, but most were like 20 mins.

I'm just glad they're over and I get to find out the results next week. Thanks again everyone!

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