Ambulatory EEG

person in kitchen with brain monitoring device on


An Ambulatory electroencephalogram EEG is a safe, painless test, which will record the electrical activity produced by your brain. An Ambulatory EEG uses a digital recording system to record brain activity for 48-96 hours while you go about your daily routine activity. Ambulatory EEG monitoring is a relatively recent technology that allows prolonged EEG recording in the home setting which increases the chance of recording any abnormal brain wave activity. AEEG is a less expensive alternative to inpatient monitoring, with costs that are 50-65% lower than a 24-hour inpatient hospital admission for video/EEG monitoring.

Why is the test performed?

Ambulatory EEG has several important clinical applications. It is used for confirmation of clinical suspicion of epilepsy, evaluation of interictal epileptiform activity, documentation of seizures of which patients are unaware, evaluation of response to therapy, evaluation of nocturnal or sleep-related events, evaluation of non-epileptic events and syncope.

How is the test performed? 

The patient will be positioned on a bed or in a comfortable chair. To measure the electrical activity in various parts of the brain, an EEG technician will attach electrodes to the scalp. To improve the conduction of these impulses to the electrodes, a gel will be applied to them. Then a temporary glue will be used to attach them to the skin. The test is painless.

The electrodes only gather the impulses given off by the brain and do not transmit any stimulus to the brain. The brain’s electrical activity will be recorded continuously throughout the test and the neurologist will analyze the result.

Test preparation:

To prepare for an EEG you must wash your hair the night before or the day of the test, but don’t use any conditioners, sprays or styling gels. Hair products can make it harder for the sticky patches that hold the electrodes to adhere to your scalp. Also, avoid anything with caffeine on the day of the test, because caffeine can affect the test results. Make sure you take your usual medications unless instructed otherwise. The patient generally will be ready to go home immediately following the test.