Electroencephalography (EEG) is typically a non-invasive diagnostic test to record electrical activity of the brain along the scalp. In clinical setting, EEG refers to the recording of the brain’s spontaneous electrical activity over a period of time. The information these tests provide will allow physicians to create a treatment plan that addresses a patient’s specific symptoms.
Who performs these tests?
These tests must be performed by highly specialized physicians, with extra training in clinical neurophysiology or epilepsy. Both, Dr Yono and Dr Kashouty have subspecialty training and are highly qualified to perform these procedures.
Why is the test performed?
EEG is used in the evaluation of brain disorders. Most commonly it is used to show the type and location of the activity in the brain during a seizure. It also is helpful for diagnosing or treating multiple disorders such as confusion, coma, head injury, tumors or memory difficulty.
A standard EEG typically takes about one hour including test preparation. 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 20 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.
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.