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Neurodiagnostic Week 2024 - A Look Back

“We are not makers of history, we are made by history.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s Neurodiagnostic Week!  Seriously though….I think we need a whole month.

I think this field is the Best Kept Secret in Healthcare!

Just some quick fun facts as we celebrate Neurodiagnostics Week:

  • 1924 – Calvin Coolidge was elected President, Jimmy Carter was born, the first Macy’s Day Parade was held…and Hans Berger, a German Psychiatrist inserted silver wires under his subject’s scalp (mostly used his children) and invented the EEG recording. He called it an Elektrenkephalogramm and first described the alpha rhythm showing how it suppresses when we open our eyes.

  • 1934 – It’s real breakthrough into the clinical world when 2 patients with Absence seizures were studied at Harvard and because their seizures didn’t introduce movement artifact in the recording a clear 3Hz Spike and Wave complex was seen.

  • 1937 – the first hospital based EEG lab was started with a 2 channel EEG machine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

  • 1963 – the first EEG registration exam is administered for technicians. There are currently 9012 technologists in the world at the time of this writing that have passed the test. (Lol…my number is 2474 : )

  • Although EEG is the most common test in Neurodiagnostics, the field also includes inter-operative monitoring, long-term monitoring, polysomograms, evoked potentials, and nerve conduction studies.

Pretty amazing how this test has evolved and how we can now conduct them in the comfort of patient’s own homes. Remembering how far we have come is inspiring for what is ahead.

Even though this field is ‘the best kept secret in healthcare’ most all of us have been trying for years to get the word out.

Let’s Begin to Think About:

  • How we can mentor to new staff to improve our national registry statistics?

  • How we can support our National Society and advocate for the field?

  • How we can communicate this field to local students?

This week gives us an opportunity to share what we do, but honestly – let’s take more than a week.

Roya Tompkins, MS, REEG/EP T, RPSGT

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