Diagnostic

A lot of mental disorders have the same symptomatology but have totally different causes of the disease. A complete and precisely determined diagnostic program lets the doctor provide a proper diagnosis and determine what causes the development of the mental disorders. The diagnosis of a mental illness consists of instrumental and laboratory research methods of the human nervous system, as well as clinical and psychological interviews.

What does the diagnosis of mental disorders include?

Diagnosis of mental disorders


Biophysical diagnostic methods

BulletElectroencephalography

What is it? How and When is it used?

Electroencephalography, or EEG, is a neurological test that uses an electronic monitoring device to measure and record electrical activity in the brain. An EEG test detects abnormalities in your brain waves. It is as significant for a psychiatrist and a neurologist, as an electrocardiogram for a cardiologist. Just like an electrocardiography, electroencephalography is absolutely safe and has no health counter-indications. EEG helps to assist in the proper diagnosis of mental disorders, to define the severity of disease and to initiate the proper psychotropic medicines. This method does not require any preparation and is completely painless and totally safe. Routine EEG recordings usually take 20 to 40 minutes.

 A 24-hour monitoring method of bioelectric activity of the brain provides additional important information.

Side-effects: None

BulletEvoked Potentials Studies

What is it? How and When is it used?

The “evoked potential studies ”allow identification as the brain responds  to various stressors such as internal body signals or environmental factors. The evoked potentials study helps to reveal how the brain processes information.

The evoked potentials are classified in accordance with the received stimuli into cognitive, visual, auditory and visceral potentials:

  • Cognitive evoked potentials are an integral estimation method for the memory, concentration and thinking process.

  • Visceral or sympathetic evoked potentials help to assess the vegetative nervous system functional state.

  • Visual and auditory evoked potentials determine the causes of auditory and visual hallucinations.

The evoked potentials studies are widely used for schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.

An external diagnosis is reminiscent of an EEG procedure:  EEG Sensors stimulate the sense organs; as a result you get a diagram which shows brain responses.

Side-effects: None

BulletMagnetic resonance imaging

What is it? How and When is it used?

It is a brain imaging method which allows a person to see the structure of the brain. The basic principle of MRI is the assessment of hydrogen nuclei’s magnetic resonance. This method does not require any preparation and is completely painless and totally safe. Contraindications for undergoing an MRI scan include patients who have a heart pacemaker or who have a metallic foreign body in their eyes, or who have an aneurysm clip in their brain, and cannot have a MRI scan as the magnetic field may dislodge the metal. The MRI machine is a large, cylindrical machine that creates a strong magnetic field around the patient and sends pulses of radio waves from a scanner. The patient should lay flat for the length of the procedure.

A MRI examination reveals tumors and cysts, displays the acquisition of blood in the brain and determines the size of the brain lobes that affect mental disorders.

Different  mental stages and disorders are shown on an MRI scan differently  e.g., schizophrenia patients would have an enlargement of the left ventricle combined with a shrinkage of the brain's  temporal lobe, while patients with bipolar disorder and depression have a right ventricle enlargement . The Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia include relevant images on pathology.

A full examination takes 20-30 min.

Side-effects: the procedure might cause some discomfort or pain, particularly in the case of a recent injury or invasive procedure, such as surgery.

BulletMagnetoencephalography

What is it? How and When is it used?

Magnetoencephalography is a technique that helps localize sources of electrical activity within the human brain by non-invasively measuring the magnetic fields arising from such activity. MEG is increasingly being used in the preoperative evaluation of patients with epilepsy and those who will undergo tumor resection surgery.

During the procedure the patient will be brought to the MEG system itself.  All MEG studies are performed inside a magnetic shield, which is a large metal walled room that helps keep interference from the environment out. Inside the room the MEG itself takes the form of a helmet that covers the head, but is open in the front for vision.  The system can rotate, so the patient can either lie down on a bed or sit up in a chair during the scan.  The doctor or technician performing the measurement will ensure the head is completely inserted in the helmet and that the patient is comfortable.

The scans that we perform generally last approximately 1-2 hours in total.

Side-effects: None

BulletDoppler ultrasound

What is it? How and When is it used?

Doppler ultrasound is used to measure the speed of blood flow. A Doppler ultrasound can help determine the blood pressure within your arteries and show how much blood is currently flowing through your arteries and veins. Dopplerography of vessels of head and neck does not require any preparation. The method is absolutely harmless and is generally considered to be safe during pregnancy.

During Doppler ultrasound camera, a handheld instrument is passed lightly over the skin above a blood vessel. The transducer sends and receives sound waves that are amplified through a microphone. The sound waves bounce off solid objects, including blood cells. The movement of blood cells causes a change in pitch of the reflected sound waves. If there is no blood flow, the pitch does not change. Information from the reflected sound waves can be processed by a computer to provide graphs or pictures that represent the flow of blood through the blood vessels.

The Doppler ultrasound exam may be ordered if you show signs of:

  • Dizziness, blurred vision, fainting, incoordination, the hands and feet become inflamed and swollen
  • An increase in your heart rate
  • Heart rate and blood pressure asymmetry
  • Chronic arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis of vessels (diabetes, increased “bad” LDL cholesterol  and others)

A full examination takes 30-45 min.

Side-effects: None

BulletSleep study

Night sleep structure Studies or polysomnography (PSG) helps to evaluate the patterns of brain waves and muscle movements, cardiovascular activation and motor activity during sleep. Sticky patches with sensors called electrodes are placed on your scalp, face, chest, limbs, and a finger. While you sleep, these sensors record your brain activity, eye movements, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, and the amount of oxygen in your blood. Polysomnography may be used to help adjust your treatment plan to improve sleep.  The preparations for the PSG procedure start late at night (around 8 p.m.),and ends at 7 a.m.. PSG is tolerated well by the majority of patients. The apparatus doesn’t generally cause any significant discomfort.

Side-effects: None


Laboratory tests

BulletBlood and biochemical tests

Blood and biochemical tests give information about a basic metabolic panel, a water-salt balance and an energy metabolism. In addition to that, a blood test helps to identify active inflammatory processes, deficits or excessive vitamin and amino acid levels and the presence of heavy metals in the blood.

BulletHormone and immune system tests

Hormone and immune system tests facilitate the detection of a disease of the endocrine system which can cause mental disorders, and take control over the side effects of psychotropic medications. The hormones of the HPA axis show the duration and level of stress and identify a defense mechanism to cope with the stresses. The correlation between the hormones of the HPA axis allows prediction of the mental disorder manifestations.

 A hormone of a thyroid gland and peptide hormones ( thyrotropin-releasing factor (TRF) and  thyroid hormones T3 and T4) can lead to depression.

A decrease in melatonin hormone causes increased night time sympathetic nervous system activity. The concentration of melatonin circulating in the blood is a depression treatment progress indicator. Moreover, the melatonin hormone has a strong positive impact on the immune system.

The concentration of prolactin hormone allows the predetermination the length of treatment of psychosis. Apart from this, a stable prolactin (PRL) level is essential while taking psychotropic medications, which in turn cause the risk of hyperprolactinemia, the presence of abnormally high levels of prolactin in the blood.

BulletImmune system tests

The pathologic changes of the immune system, chronic infections and inflammations are identified by means of Immunogram, cytokine and interferon profile testing.

BulletBacteriological and virological tests

Bacteriological and virological tests reveal neurovirological infections, which contaminate various structures of the central nervous system. The most common cases of neurovirological infections include: an Epstein-Barr virus, a herpes virus, a Rubella virus, streptococcus and staphylococcus viruses.

BulletNeuro Test

Neuro Test is a blood test that identifies blood autoantibodies levels against proteins of the central nervous system. Neuro Test reveals inflammatory processes, a degeneration of the nerve cells, which provide a rapid transmission of nerve impulses, and changes in the regulatory neurotransmitter systems, which sends signals to the brain.


Psychological diagnosis methods

BulletPathopsychological testing

Pathopsychological testing determines the perception processes, memory, attention and the role of emotion in decision-making of the patient. In the course of the study, a tested person gets certain tasks, which solutions characterize his cognitive processes.  The behavioral assessment also enables a diagnosis. The diagnostic procedure is provided only by a mental health specialist.

BulletNeuropsychological testing

Neuropsychological testing identifies the location of mental disorders in the brain. The diagnostic procedure is often used in estimating patients’ attention, learning, memory processes, volitional, perceptual, intellectual, sensomotoric functions and emotional status in general.

An eminent Russian scientist A.R. Luria and his followers laid the theoretical and practical basis for neuropsychological studies. The methods are applied according to Vygotsky’s theory of the development of higher psychological functions. The diagnostic procedure is provided only by a mental health specialist.

MMHC implements a variety of other psychological methods, such as: examination of personality structure and type, determination of sensitivity to different types of psychotherapy, family systems therapy and methods of estimation of efficiency of social adaptation.

BulletStructural psychological diagnosis

Structural psychological diagnosis reveals patient’s personality structure, discovers what kinds of bonds the person establishes with others, what the quality and the intensity of his drives and affects is, what defense and adaptive mechanisms he uses, what self-image he has. The goal is to be able to create a three-dimensional image of the individual and try to understand how that concrete person functions. This allows having a clearer idea of what kind of treatment would be beneficial for that person and how to find a proper approach.

BulletFamily Diagnosis

Family Diagnosis investigates family psychopathology and relationships between family members. Interpersonal disorders are linked with problems ongoing in the family such as marital difficulties, parent-child relationship problems or stressful conditions.

BulletProfessional orientation and social skills diagnosis

Professional orientation and social skills diagnosis investigates the interaction of person with society. The method helps to identify patient’s social skills and general strengths to choose the right job.