Evoked potentials are simple tests that measure the brain’s ability to sense basic items including touch, light, and sounds. Three main evoked potentials tests are done in our office. Visual Evoked Potentials (VEP) are done to assess the pathway from the eye to the part of the brain responsible for vision. Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SSEP) assess the pathways of the nerves from the arms and legs to the spine then to the part of the brain that is responsible for touch sensation. Brainstem Auditory Evoked Responses (BAER) are done to allow the physician to assess the hearing pathway from the ear to the brain. These tests involve the placement of surface, painless electrodes to your skin, scalp, earlobes, shoulders, neck, and/or back. The test will measure your brain’s response to certain sensory modalities. This painless test takes anywhere from 25-40 minutes to complete. Following the test you may resume your normal daily activities as you had planned. Afterwards the physician will later discuss the test results with you.
How to prepare for evoked potentials
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your test time.
- Do not wear any lotions on your arms or legs prior to the test.
- No small children please.
- Eat, sleep, and take your medications as you would normally do prior to your test.
- If you smoke, please do not do so until after your test.
- Wash your hair before coming in with shampoo and afterwards dry your hair but do not put any hair product in your hair. So no gels, oils, hair spray, etc. These will reduce the accuracy of the test.