Video telemetry is a diagnostic option that can help clarify the underlying cause of intermittent episodes where this has previously been unclear. These episodes could be epileptic seizures or have other causes such as non-epileptic attacks. It can also be an option for patients who have already been diagnosed with epilepsy but are yet to find the best treatment for their condition. Telemetry can also be used to diagnose sleep problems such as insomnia, sleep apnoea, Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorders, or non-rapid eye movement sleep related problems (non-REM parasomnia).
There is a range of telemetry procedures that we are able to offer to private patients in our specialist facilities at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
All of these studies are non-invasive. EEG electrodes are attached to the scalp with paste and tape, occasionally glue might be used. Recording can take place over 24 hours, or longer if required.
Telemetry options include:
Diagnostic video telemetry
Diagnostic video telemetry involves recording your brain activity through electroencephalography (also known as EEG), whilst taking video and audio recordings of you performing a range of activities, for example, sleeping, eating, reading, watching TV, and playing a video game.
This helps to understand your seizures or other episodes better and will help us to identify which part of your brain is being affected when these episodes happen. Our specially trained staff will monitor you throughout the assessment. During the recording you will be asked to remain in your room so that we can capture any events on video, but you will be able to continue your daily activities.
Diagnostic polysomnography can help to diagnose sleep problems, such as insomnia, sleep apnoea, REM behaviour disorder (RBD), and non-REM parasomnia. This involves recording your brain activity through electroencephalography (EEG), as well as measuring your muscle activity, oxygen saturation of your blood, and how easy you are finding it to breathe (respiratory effort).
At the same time, we will also take video and audio recordings of you while you sleep. This will give us a good understanding of what is happening to your body when you are asleep, helping us to diagnose your sleep problem.
Multiple-sleep latency test (MSLT)
MSLT is used to measure daytime sleepiness, it allows for diagnosing conditions such as narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnolence. This diagnostic procedure will take place during the day after you have had an overnight diagnostic polysomnography recording. You will remain monitored with EEG and video and will be given between four to five opportunities to sleep, between 9 am to 5 pm in two hours intervals.
We may offer a test called actigraphy if we suspect you may have conditions such as excessive daytime somnolence, insomnia, and delayed sleep phase syndrome.
You will be asked to wear a watch-like device that will track your movements and environmental light. As part of this diagnostic test, you will also be asked to complete a sleep diary for a period of one to two weeks. During this period, you will be able to carry on with your usual daily activities.
The recordings from the watch alongside your sleep diary will help us to analyse your sleep pattern and help us to diagnose any sleep problems. We can also use this technique to monitor your progress if you have already been diagnosed with a sleep disorder.
All of the above procedures will take place in our specially designed private telemetry suite in the Bloomsbury Ward at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, which offers a state-of-the-art, comfortable environment for anyone who needs continuous video-EEG monitoring (video-EEG recording lasting from several hours to a few days).
Your results will be monitored in real time and analysed by our expert team of video-telemetry specialist consultant neurophysiologists and clinical physiologists, who work at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, in the only dedicated telemetry unit in the UK. We will be able to use the results of these tests to guide you towards a diagnosis and any further treatment.
During your stay you will be cared for by our nursing team, who are also specialists in the care of patients with neurological conditions.