Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies

Good evening everyone. I’m a healthy 69 year old. I have just been given an appointment at The Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton in 19 days time for EMG/NCS tests in their NEUROPHYSIOLOGY department.

6 months ago I had a positive DATscan that showed I have Parkinsonism & probably Atypical Parkinson’s [PSP]. About a month ago I was also diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy & given Amitriptyline pills which have worked really well. My legs were mostly numb & the leg muscles are still tight. I have taken Madopar & Ropinirole but have stopped taking both & am now on nothing for Parkinson’s.

After the positive DATscan the EMG/NCS tests appointment was set in motion. Since the appointment was made I had a very bad leg “freezing” attack where I could hardly move & my body felt extremely strange. So I was admitted into hospital, where I was for 2 days. Loads of blood test were done & everything was fine [I think they thought I might have had a stroke, which I hadn’t].

Until this freezing episode I would say that my Parkinson’s symptoms were extremely mild compared to most people here.

My walking is my biggest issue. I reckon on a good day I can walk 50 yards before a sit down. I never now go for walks as my leg muscles are uncomfortable & it’s no fun.

Apart from walking difficulty I suffer with fatigue & some sleepless nights. Slight hand shakes when I eat. Also maybe a lack of motivation to do jobs I should do, but I’m quite lazy so who knows. I also cannot stand still because I will freeze & getting up from a chair takes a good few minutes.

But for the positive DATscan I would very much doubt that I have Parkinson’s. But my Neurologist tells me the results were very clear & showed Parkinson’s. My thought is that a positive DATscan shows Peripheral Neuropathy which I know
I have.

It will be interesting to see if these tests on the good old NHS give more of a clue as to what I am suffering from.

Anyone have similar experiences?

Thanks for reading

Hi Steve
I’m booked in to see Neurophysiologist next week for Nerve conduction study & whatever else he decides I need.

I’m 5yrs into pd diagnosis and take low dose co-careldopa plus a nightly dose of Opicapone which has been a huge help after trying many different meds.

A few months ago I suffered severe pins & needles in my feet & hands with terrible pain in both hands.
After many blood tests & x-rays to rule out Rheumatoid Arthritis I have finally got my appointment.

I’m sure the GPS ( various all phone appts) think I’m imagining it all!

I also suffer with very little sleep, lethargy, fatigue and muscle tightness.
My Movement consultant was great in early diagnosis of PD but since covid my appointment keeps getting cancelled.
I was eventually assigned a PD nurse with a huge workload.

I have always suffered pain and was convinced I had Fibromyalgia but because the pd treatment helped it was decided I have PD.
I have found the whole experience frustrating as nobody has text book symptoms with Parkinson’s, I just hope next weeks test will shine a light on the whole subject.
Best wishes to you, I hope too you find some answers and relief

Hi just read your post & you’ve just described my husband he has to the same symptoms exactly. He was diagnosed 4yrs ago but only the last few months have all the symptoms shown themselves. Mobility, frozen limbs, sleep problems, memory the list has grown. After researching Parkinson’s there are common symptoms but each person is different. Day by day now the way we cope.

Hi Steve2,

a DAT scan looks at the dopamine producing cells in your brain. In Parkinson’s disease and other atypical parkinsons syndromes there is less pick up of the radioactive dye as there are fewer dopamine producing cells. This gives a characteristic pattern. It can’t diagnose peripheral neuropathy as this is a disorder affecting peripheral nerves (those outside the brain and spinal cord). EMG and nervce condusiont studies look at the peripheral nerves and muscles. It is unfortunately possible to have both problems at the same time.
It sounds like you’re having a difficult time with your combination of symptoms. I hope your doctors get your pain and mobility sorted out soon.
Best wishes

Hello Podd … In your reply you said … “It sounds like you are having a difficult time with your combination of symptoms” … I’m going to award you a LOL. Would you believe? On Wednesday evening my heart started to race, really race. I was watching TV & had been indoor bowling as I normally do on Wednesday afternoon. So I went online & consulted 111. I got to the end of the questions & it said call 999. I was reluctant to do so having called an ambulance only 3 weeks ago, also on a Wednesday. That time It was thought I had a stroke but I hadn’t, see my earlier post. It was most likely a Parkinson’s / Peripheral Neuropathy issue.

So I phoned 111 & they said the ambulances were busy, it was a stormy night. It would be 2 hours. It was now 12 o clock & my heart had been racing for 5 hours non stop. 111 phoned back to say the ambulance would be at least another 2 hours.

So I said I would drive to A&E. I was told not to drive, but I live on my own, so I drove through the storms without incident.

I got to A&E about 1am … I had hardly walked out of the car park, being blown everywhere & I got to the A&E door & found it closed. I could now hardly walk [Parkinson’s?]. Fortunately there was an ambulance & they got a wheelchair & wheeled me into the hospital. I was put into a cubicle & hooked up to one of these machines you have by your bed & the machine alarm went off.

My BPN [heart beats per minute] got as high as 150 [normal is 60-100]. Then taken up to the same ward & the same bed as I was in 3 weeks previous. I was told that they might “shock” my heart to get it beating as it should. I was then given beta blockers & Warfarin pills & my heart beat dropped to normal levels but was incredibly erratic. It felt like my heart was being squeezed & knocked & was fluttering. A most unpleasant feeling.

A normal heart beat per second might read 60,61,61,62,61 etc … my readings were going 65,75,74,80,75,90,100,90,85 etc …

So I was given a much higher dose & the following morning my readings per second were something like 60,61,61,60,59,58,58. My heart beat was so quiet I could not hear it. Later that day after about 42 hours I was discharged & am now on Apixaban & Bisoprolol for life. I also have a medication passport :blush:.


Isn’t is amazing that 24 hours ago I thought I was going to die & here I am feeling so much better.

Hope that wasn’t too boring Podd.

Oh & someone in my 5 bed ward got Covid & that was exciting.

Good old NHS.

Best wishes

Sounds like the NHS is keeping you going despite it’s ongoing problems.

Glad you feel better,