Electroencephalogram - EEG

This is a recording of the electrical activity of the brain. It is also known as an EEG.

This is a recording of the electrical activity of the brain. It is also known as an EEG.

There is constant electrical activity going on in the brain. An electroencephalogram, or EEG, is a recording of this electrical activity.

  • By documenting the various waveforms, an EEG can provide information about your brain. This information can help in diagnosing and following certain conditions that affect the brain
  • An EEG is often done to diagnose seizure activity and evaluate its response to treatment.

During an EEG, electrical activity is measured by a machine.

  • The activity appears as different types of waveforms on a computer screen. In the past, waveforms were printed on paper for evaluation.
  • A complete EEG includes the test, the doctor's interpretation and the written report.

An EEG may be done in a doctor's office, EEG lab or hospital. Your healthcare provider may want an EEG done while you are awake and asleep. If you need to sleep during the test, you may be told to limit your sleep the night before.

  • Wash your hair the night before your EEG. Do not use any conditioners or gel.
  • Avoid caffeine for about eight hours before the test. This is true even if you are told to stay awake the night before.
  • Ask your healthcare provider which regular medications you should take on the day of your test. Do not stop taking any medications unless instructed to do so.
  • Small metal electrodes will be placed in various locations on your scalp.
  • You will be asked to lie still with your eyes closed. A lot of movement could affect the test results.
  • At times you may be asked to look at a bright light or breathe quickly (hyperventilate). If you have a history of seizures, this is when one may occur.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this test?

  • What is the reason for the test? Will the test results change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?
  • Is there any other special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What conditions or circumstances can alter the test results? Under what circumstances will I need to have the test repeated?
  • How long will the test take?

After your EEG, you should understand home care instructions (including medications and side effects), follow-up plans and symptoms to report to your healthcare provider.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Electroencephalogram - EEG
Brain Wave Recording

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