Diagnostic tests to determine the nature and extent of damage to peripheral nerve pathways. Nerve conduction studies often are performed in conjunction with an electromyogram (EMG) to provide a comprehensive picture of the neuromuscular physiology in a certain group of muscles or part of the body. During a nerve conduction study, a technician applies recording electrodes to the skin over the muscle groups being tested and then uses a different set of electrodes to apply a very mild electrical current. The current travels through the nerves, which are the body’s communication pathways, and the recording electrodes capture the electrical activity. The rate and consistency with which the nerves carry the electrical signals help to determine what, if any, nerve conduction problems are present.
A neurologist may request nerve conduction studies to evaluate weakness, numbness, gait and balance problems, and other neuromuscular symptoms. The findings are more significant for ruling out peripheral nerve injury and other diseases that have specific damage patterns and have no role in confirming a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.