Electrophysiology remains an important tool in the evaluation of patients presenting with signs and symptoms of motor neuron disease. The electrodiagnostic study should include peripheral nerve conduction studies and needle electromyography to both exclude treatable disease and gather evidence regarding a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The recent changes in the revised El Escorial criteria, recommended by the Awaji-shima consensus group, have increased the diagnostic significance of fasciculation potentials to equal that of fibrillation and positive sharp-wave potentials in the needle electromyography examination of patients suspected of having ALS. In addition, electrophysiologic evidence is now considered equivalent to clinical signs and symptoms in reaching a diagnostic certainty of ALS. These changes, strategies for the design, and implementation of an effective electrodiagnostic evaluation, in addition to electrophysiologic techniques and their relationship to the evaluation of a patient with ALS, are reviewed and discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation