EEG / Ambulatory EEG
An EEG or electroencephalogram is used to detect electrical activity in your brain. Its primary use is a diagnostic tool for epilepsy. Additionally, the test may be used to confirm a diagnosis of encephalopathy or other brain issue.
Uses of EEG
Understanding the electrical activity in the brain is crucial for diagnosing brain disorders. Although its primary use is in the diagnosis of epilepsy it may also be used to identify:
• Tumors of the brain
• Injuries to the brain
• Sleep disorders
During the EEG Procedure
The EEG testing process is painless. There are no shocks sent into the body and no needles used. The test is simply done by electrodes recording the electrical activity within the bread. During the test:
• The technician will measure your head and determine the best placement for your electrodes. The areas being used may be cleaned to improve the accuracy of the test results.
• The technician will then place the electrodes on your scalp or use a specially designed cap. The electrodes are connected by wires to a machine that records the electrical activity.
• The session is video recorded so that your movements may be seen alongside your brain activity. This can be helpful during your diagnosis.
• The test typically takes about one hour. You may be asked to do different functions during the tests including opening and closing your eyes, perform math equations, read or to change your breathing pattern.
Once the test is complete, the electrodes are removed and you can continue on with your day. In some instances, sedatives are used, those individuals will be required to have someone drive them home after the test.
During an Ambulatory EEG
Typically an EEG is done for a short period of time, limiting the monitoring window. An Ambulatory EEG can be done over a few days, allowing doctors to get a look at the brain’s electrical activity over time. It can be used while wake and while awake while the patient is at home. During the test:
• Wires are placed on the scalp as with a regular EEG and then attached to a small, portable device that can be worn on your body.
• The electrodes on your head will be covered by a hat and you will be allowed to go about your normal routine.
• You’ll be asked to keep a dairy of your activity to help doctors see patterns.