An Electroencephalography, often referred to as an EEG, is a test used to detect abnormalities in brain waves or the electrical activity of the brain. Tiny electrodes with small metal discs are attached to wires and placed in various areas of your scalp. These electrodes detect electrical charges that result from activity of your brain cells. The charges are amplified and appear as a graph on a computer screen, this is the data that is recorded for interpretation.
An EEG is administered by a trained and certified technician The data recorded during the 45-minute test is then interpreted by a healthcare provider who specializes in reading EEG data. During the testing and interpretation process special attention is paid to the basic waveforms in addition to any brief bursts of energy and response that may occur as a response to stimuli.
EEG testing has been used for many years and is a medically safe procedure.
In rare instances, an EEG can cause seizure activity in a person who has a seizure disorder. This can be caused by the flashing lights or deep breathing involved in the test. If you do experience seizure like activity or symptoms during the test your provider will be informed, and you will be treated immediately.
An EEG is a 45-minute test administered by a trained and certified technician. At the beginning of your appointment you will be asked to sit in a chair. At this time 24 electrodes will be attached to various areas on your scalp and EKG leads will be placed on your chest. These electrodes are very tiny and will be attached to wires to allow for the recording of your brain activity.
Once all the electrodes have been placed you will be asked to lay down on a bed, close your eyes, relax, and remain still. Once you are comfortable and settled the technician will begin the recording process; it is important that you remain still throughout the recording process.
After several minutes of recording the technician may test you with various stimuli to produce brain wave activity that does not appear while you are at rest. For example, you may be asked to breathe deeply and rapidly for 3 minutes and exposed to a bright flashing light.
Once the test is completed the electrodes and paste will be removed with warm water. From time to time some paste will remain on your scalp but it can easily be washed off at home in the shower. Skin irritation or redness can also occur at the locations of electrode placement, this will wear off in a few hours.
After your test is completed the technician sends the recorded data to a provider for interpretation. The results of an EEG are typically available within one week of your test and reviewed with you at your next follow up visit. If there is an abnormality seen on your test you will receive a call from our office.
The night before your test wash your hair with shampoo only, no conditioner. Your hair must be both clean and dry at the time of your EEG.
On the night before and day of your EEG do not use any hair care products such as hairsprays, gels, or mousses.
Do not wear any hair extensions, weaves, or wigs.
Wear a loose-fitting top that will allow access to your chest for placement of EKG leads.
For women, we suggest not wearing makeup as water may run down your face during the removal of the leads.