EEG DEFINITIONAn EEG (electroencephalogram) attaches small, flat metal discs called electrodes on your scalp to discern and examine your brain's electrical activity. Your brain cells communicate through electrical signals that are always active, even when sleeping.
EEG PURPOSEAn EEG can tell if there are any changes in your brain activity. Also, it can help the diagnosis of the following issues: Brain death during a prolonged coma, memory impairment, sleep disorders, stroke, encephalopathy, encephalitis, head injury, brain tumor, and epilepsy or other seizure disorders.
EEG RISKSEEGs are safe, noninvasive, and painless. The people most at risk for this procedure are epileptics (the instruments may intentionally trigger a seizure during the test). However, appropriate medical care is readily available if required.
EEG PREPARATION REQUIREDYou need to wash your hair before taking an EEG. However, don't use styling gels, sprays, hair creams, or conditioners. You should also avoid caffeine six hours before the exam. You may be asked by your doctor to sleep less if you're needed to sleep during the test. Otherwise, you may be given a sedative.
EEG PROCEDUREFirst, a technician measures your head and puts markers on where the electrodes are going to be placed. A special adhesive is used to connect the electrodes to your head. You'll then be asked to relax and move to a comfortable position during the test. A video camera may be used to capture your movements during the test.
EEG COMPLICATIONSThere are few complications associated with EEGs. However, if you're going to be sedated, there's a slight chance of an allergic reaction from the medication. The possible seizure you may experience if you have epilepsy is an intentionally triggered one. Medical teams are always on standby to ensure the safety of the test.
EEG SIDE EFFECTSThere are no side effects to taking an EEG. The possible seizure induced by it if you're epileptic is an intentional one. It's not uncomfortable and the electrodes themselves don't transmit any sensations. Nevertheless, it'll take an hour for you to recover from sedation if you chose to be sedated.
EEG RESULTSTechnicians are the ones who conduct the test. Meanwhile, the doctors trained in analyzing EEGs are responsible for interpreting the recording and sending your doctor their overall assessment. Once your doctor sets up an appointment to talk to you about the results, you should bring someone along with you. Don't be afraid to ask questions regarding his diagnosis.