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COMMON TESTS EXPLAINED

MRI
— an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) allows us to visualise internal organs, such as the brain. The MRI machine makes loud banging sounds whenever it is taking pictures. An MRI usually takes between thirty minutes to an hour. The patient is laying down for the procedure, inside a tunnel shaped machine.

SPECT— a SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) allows us to see functional information about a specific organ or body system (e.g. the blood supply to the brain). The patient is injected with a radiopharmaceutical 10 or 20 minutes prior to the scan. The scan will be done by a camera the moves around your head (scanning the brain). There are no loud noises associated with this procedure. The only noise you will hear will be the mechanical rotation of the camera.

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CT—a CT (Computed Tomography) scan takes cross sectional pictures of specific parts of the body and reconstructs them on a computer so they can be visualised. A CT scanner, which is shaped like a large donut, goes around the part of the body to be scanned. A CT scan usually takes about 30 minutes, and as it moves around you may make clicking or buzzing noises.

EEG—An EEG (Electroencephalogram) allows us to look at electrical activity in the brain. For an EEG, about 16-25 electrodes are placed on the scalp to detect and record electrical activity in the brain. The electrodes do not produce any sensation they only record activity.