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Electrodiagnostic test procedures give information about the status of neural pathways. These procedures are used with individuals who are difficult to test by conventional behavioral methods. They are also indicated for a person with signs, symptoms or complaints suggesting a nervous system disease or disorder.
Auditory brainstem response (ABR) is an auditory evoked potential that originates from the auditory nerve. It is often used with babies. Electrodes are placed on the head (similar to electrodes placed around the heart when an electrocardiogram is run), and brain wave activity in response to sound is recorded. The entire test takes about 30 minutes.
The purpose of audiological evaluation is to quantify and qualify hearing in terms of the degree and the type of hearing loss. The loss may be conductive (a temporary or permanent hearing loss typically due to abnormal conditions of the outer and/or middle ear), mixed (a combination of conductive and sensorineural components), or a central auditory processing disorder (a condition where the brain has difficulty processing auditory signals that are heard).