Diagnosing Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy can be difficult to diagnose. In almost 50 percent of neuropathy cases, a cause cannot be found. This can be reduced to about one-third at a center such as Ohio State, where the expertise and focus of our physicians mean that your testing will be accurately and appropriately performed and interpreted. This results in less testing and better information.
We will give you the best possible understanding of your neuropathy through a thorough history and physical and state-of-the-art tools and testing. Our diagnostic tests include:
- Electrodiagnostic tests, including electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS)
- Blood tests
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
- Nerve function tests
- Muscle strength tests
- Sensory tests
- Nerve biopsy
- Diagnostic skin biopsy, a highly specialized test to evaluate whether you have a certain type of neuropathy
- Imaging tests (magnetic resonance imaging/MRI, computed tomography/CT)
About half of neuropathy disorders have a genetic basis, such as the group of hereditary neuropathies known as Charcot Marie Tooth disorders. New technology allows us to test multiple genes at one time, and we are now able to make a genetic diagnosis for many more persons with hereditary neuropathy.