An evoked potential (EP) test measures electrical signals in the brain in response to stimulation through sight, sound or touch. The test can help diagnose conditions of the brain and spinal cord such as multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a condition that can cause visual, movement, balance issues and other symptoms.
There are three types of EP tests commonly performed:
1. Visual Evoked Potential (VEP)
Checks the nerves that connect the eyes to the visual cortex. The visual cortex is the part of the brain that enables us to see.
2. Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential (BAEP)
Checks the nerves that connect the ears to the brainstem. The brainstem connects the spinal cord to the brain and helps to regulate breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and other functions.
3. Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP)
Checks the nerves that connect the upper and lower limbs to a part of the brain that enables you to feel objects.
Depending on your condition, one to three tests will be ordered by the doctor.
Visual Evoked Potential (VEP)
How should I prepare for the test?
How is the test performed?
The test is done by a neuro technologist and takes around 45 minutes.
Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential (BAEP)
The test is done by a neuro technologist and takes around 30 – 45 minutes.
Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP)
This test is performed by a neuro technologist and takes:
a) Around 1.5 hours when done on the arms or legs.b) Around 3 hours when done on both the arms and legs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are these tests safe?
The tests are generally safe as there are no known side-effects or complications. The neuro technologist will be with you throughout the process. If you feel unwell, tell the technologist.
Can I undergo the test if I am feeling unwell?
No. If you are feeling unwell e.g. fever, cough, do not proceed with the test. Call to reschedule your appointment.
Have questions or concerns? Call:
Tel: 6330 6363
Office Hours:8.00am – 5.30pm, Mon – Wed, Fri8.00am – 5.00pm, ThursClosed on Sat, Sun, Public Holidays
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The information is correct as of July 2021 and subject to revisions without notice.
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