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WADA testing

I am having a Wada test in a few weeks. I dont know what to expect other than the vague and somewhat scary description I have read from my doctors. Has anyone been through this teat who can tell me what to expect?Winders

Comments I posted a couple links you may want to visit.  Hopefully the moderators will also see your post, they frequently can list many good links on a topic.

Winders,I have the personal, 'hands-on' experience of WADA testing. How? Because I just went through one back in January last year 2004.If you have already gone through many other tests (EEG, MRI, CT, etc..etc.) and the results located the area where your seizures are starting, which is called the seizure focus, then the medical team might be in the process to see how good, or how bad, it can be to preform actual surgery. My WADA test was done prior to starting the pre-surgical EEG / brain mapping. The worst part I felt was due to where the needle is inserted, the inner side of my right leg just below the groin.Just an additional website other then the ones posted on message #2 above.

What is a Wada test?Most epilepsy patients considering surgery undergo the Wada (WAH-dah) test first. This test is officially known as the intracarotid sodium amobarbital procedure (ISAP), but the nickname "Wada test" is commonly used. The name comes from the physician who first performed it, Dr. Juhn Wada. The Wada test looks at language and memory on one side of the brain at a time. Language (speech) is controlled by one side of the brain, and the Wada will tell the doctors which side controls language in your brain. Memory can be controlled by both sides of the brain; the Wada tells which side of your brain has better memory. If the side that controls language or has better memory is where your seizures may be coming from, the surgeon may consider performing an fMRI or brain mapping before surgery.
There's alot more described from this same website about the WADA test, such as Who performs the test?  What happens during the Wada test?  How long does the test take?  Is the Wada safe?  What is it like to have a Wada? .........and it is located at (link-guy)

Hey guys, Bruce, thanks for the info. Winders, I was wondering about the WADA test myself; I am in pre-surgical mode right now also. My epileptologist mentioned me having one done too last visit I had with him, and so you and I will probably go through this test together!!! What he explained to me (aside from the info Bruce and the others gave you) is that a catheter is inserted, and in layman's terms, the test is used to basically "numb" one side of the brain, while they test you on the other, and then vice versa. I'm a little nervous about the test myself, but then again we're talking about brain surgery, so whatever test they need to do before they invade my skull is OK with me!Keep me updated; I will be very interested in this thread for the same reasons you are! Take care ~Megan

Yes they freeze the brain on one side by placing dye on each side of the brain. and then the other. They will ask you questions and they want to see if you are able to answer them. Dont worry if you cant, that is just part of the procedure to see where your speech, movement... is located.I found it to be very neat and interesting test.The worse part for me was to lay there for six hours afterwards with the legs very still. They do that because of the needle that was placed near the groan. They dont want that area to start bleeding.  

Hi!  I had the WADA test done in June.  I did not find the test scarey, but interesting.  Using the catheter (as Megan explained) they put one side of my brain to sleep (speech and memory side).  The epileptologist held up one item for nor more than 10 seconds asking me what it was.  The items were keys, fork, bowl,...etc ~ everyday items.  I tried so hard to say fork, but sounded as if I'd had a stroke.  I did the same with bowl.  When he showed me the picture a giraffe, I gave him a look of "no way am I going to attempt this word"  :)  The med wears off in 3-4 minutes.  They put  the other side of your brain to sleep.  The epi showed me the same items and asked what they were and if I remember seeing them.  The first item (keys) I did not remember seeing.  The rest of the items I recalled, named them in detail, just to make sure I could talk again.  :)There is no pain.  I found it to be quite interesting and I have great empathy for stroke victims who suffer loss of speech.  How frustrating it must be.  Surgery was scheduled for July...the surgeon broke his arm the week before surgery, so I am on the schedule for sept 13, and very excited.Good luck!!!!Diane

Thanks to all for the responses sent and good links. I am most thankful for the humor shared along with the facts. I have started practicing the word "Giraffe" just in case....  The 6 hour sitting still might be a challenge however.Bubbymamma, I go in end of Sept. I will be at a teaching hospital so I "invited" an audience.  I will be happy to trade stories with you. This sounds like a quick test with some recovery time. You all have done much to lessen my fear and educate me for what will happen. Wendy

Glad to see all the helpful info here! There are some variations to  the procedures at different institutions, for example whether they will test both sides of the brain on the same day, how long it may take, if med changes need to be done, if you stay overnight or how long you should expect to be there, etc. If you haven't yet talked to a nurse, ask your epilepsy doctor to see one at the facility where you are having it. Most surgical centers have epilepsy nurses to help provide this type of education. Also the neuropsychologist at the center will have lots of good information, since they usually are the ones doing the testing. They may have detailed written information about your care before and after the Wada or should be able to get it for you.Best wishes, 

You have nothing to worry about.  It's not that bad.  You just have to lie still and do what they say.  It's a crazy test.  Have fun with it.Diana

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