Wada test

Used to determine which side of the brain controls language function and also how important each side of the brain is in regard to memory function.

In most people, language is controlled by the left side of the brain.

Memory can be controlled by both sides of the brain and the test can determine which side of your brain has better memory function.

The test looks at language and memory function on each side of the brain.

A cerebral angiogram is conducted before the Wada test, then the brain is anesthetised and the patient is tested for images and words: the process is performed bilaterally and the results are compared to determine the dominant side and brain mapping is performed.

The patient is awake during the test and undergoes continuing testing.

Consists of behavioral testing after the injection of an anesthetic, such as sodium amobarbital, into the right or left internal carotid artery.

Each hemisphere can be tested in isolation.

Uses of the test include the lateralization of language abilities, and a determination that the person will not be amnesic after surgery.

The risks of the test are minimal, but include stroke (<1%).

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