A test of uncertain validity used by clinical ecologists (practitioners of so-called environmental medicine) to identify various conditions, in particular, environmental disease. The neutralisation test consists of either subcutaneous injection or sublingual placement of the allegedly offending substances (e.g., formaldehye, toluene), and evaluating reactions thereto; the substances are then “neutralised” with lower doses of the same substances. Some clinical ecologists diagnose illness and identify noxious substances by crystals, pendulums, galvanometers, and other devices of questionable diagnostic efficacy.
1. Any of a number of tests used to deliberately induce a suspected pathologic derangement–eg, provocation of ↑ intraocular pressure by ingestion of excess water.
A diagnostic test in which drugs, chemicals, allergens, or physical forces are systematically administered to reproduce symptoms, in order to discover the source of a symptom or the tissue origin of a lesion. Provocation tests are used by specialists in several fields of health care, such as: allergists, to determine which of several agents may produce a patient's rhinitis, wheezing, or rash; physical therapists, to identify relationships between a patient's tissue pathology or impairment and his or her functional limitations; and cardiologists and neurologists, who use tilt table provocation tests to diagnose the cause of a patient's loss of consciousness.