Reply To: Alpha lipoic Acid
An NCV is one of the ways of diagnosing CIDP. But an NCV test may not distinguish the disease in its early stages, there needs to be sufficient Axonal and/or Myelin damage before the NCV can detect it.
Has your husband had a spinal tap to analyze cerebrospinal fluid for elevated protein levels?
CIDP and its variants can be difficult to diagnose exactly. Even assessing the results of an NCV is a bit of an art and you need to have an experienced neurologist interpreting the results. Are you near a Center of Excellence?
Usually, all the tests must be made to confirm the presence of CIDP. Neurologists that have specialized in treating CIDP know this and the signs to look for. You may wish to read and share the following publication with your doctor, it lists other diagnostic criteria for identifying the disease:
I have had all the tests mentioned accept a nerve biopsy, which, in my opinion, can be saved for last if needed at all.
A Nerve Conduction Velocity Study (NCV or NCS) may be most beneficial in diagnosing CIDP/GBS.
Conduction/velocity studies are tests that measure how well individual nerves can send an electrical signal from the spinal cord to the muscles. Nerve conduction studies are often used to help diagnose nerve disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or Guillain-Barré syndrome.
During a nerve conduction test, a health professional places a shock-emitting electrode directly over the nerve to be studied, and a recording electrode over the muscles supplied by that nerve. The shock-emitting electrode sends repeated, brief electrical pulses to the nerve, and the recording electrode records the time it takes for the muscle to contract in response to the electrical pulse.
Diagnostic uses for nerve conduction studies include:
• Detecting and evaluating damage to the peripheral nervous system, which includes all the nerves that lead away from the brain and spinal cord and the smaller nerves that branch out from those nerves.
• Identifying the cause of abnormal sensations, such as numbness, tingling, or pain.
The electrodes often penetrate the skin and can be briefly painful. Sometimes I had a little bleeding following being poked. If one is on blood thinners (Coumadin, etc.) the technician needs to be made aware of it. Ask your doctor if you can take a pain reliever (Tylenol, etc.) in advance of the study to minimize discomfort. Wear loose fitting clothing; you may be given a hospital gown to wear anyway. Since electrodes will be placed on your skin, make sure the surface is clean and free of lotions and oils that might interfere with results. Ice the area after the tests to help reduce any discomfort.
You may wish to get a second NCV test interpreted by a neurologist experienced with GBS/CIDP.