EEG – Electroencephalogram

What is an Electroencephalogram (EEG)?

  • An Electroencephalogram or EEG is a diagnostic test which examines the “brain waves”, using electrodes placed on the scalp. These electrodes are connected to a computer, which records your brain waves.

Are there different types of EEG studies?

  • We offer 2 different types of EEG:

– a 20 minute, “routine” EEG

– a 4 day, “ambulatory” EEG

What is the difference between a “routine” and “ambulatory” EEG?

  • Routine EEG
    • A “routine” EEG is performed in the office, which takes approximately 30-45 minutes to perform.
    • This type of study only records your “brain waves” for about 20 minutes.
  • Ambulatory EEG
    • For an “ambulatory” EEG, the electrodes are connected to your scalp in the office, but we then send you home with these electrodes, along with a small hand-held computer.
    • This will record your brain waves for 4 full days, while you are leading a “normal life”.
    • Such EEGs are more accurate in that they are able to pick up abnormal brain waves while you are at work or while sleeping.
    • At the end of the 4 days, you will return the equipment to our office, which will then be analyzed and interpreted by Dr. Athni.

Which type of EEG is most ideal?

  • Each type of EEG is used for different purposes.  Which EEG is best for you will depend on your individual clinical situation. Dr. Athni will discuss these options with you during your office visit.

How is the EEG procedure performed?

  • An EEG is a painless procedure, which involves attaching numerous electrodes to your scalp. These electrodes are connected to a computer, which will record your “brain waves’ during the duration of the study.
  • These brain wave recordings are reviewed and interpreted by Dr. Athni.
  • A certified EEG technician will attach the electrodes and perform the study, while being overseen by Dr. Athni.

Will an EEG always diagnose a seizure?

  • A normal EEG does NOT mean there is “nothing wrong with you”.
  • It also does NOT absolutely exclude a seizure or any other disease.
  • The results of the EEG are used in conjunction with your clinical symptoms and other diagnostic tests, to make a final diagnosis and conclusion.

How do you prepare for the EEG test?

  • The EEG tech will remind you about your appointment and answer any questions you may during the test.
  • For the test, PLEASE do the following:
  • go to bed at 1 AM, and get up at 5 AM
  • wash your hair in the morning
  • NO hair spray, NO gel, NO mouse, NO oil
  • DO NOT style your hair: NO braids, NO ponytails
  • Wear a button down shirt or blouse
  • NO perfumes or body lotions (you MAY wear deodorant

When will you get the results of the test?

  • After the completion of the test, Dr. Athni will review the recorded “brain waves” and put together an analysis or “report”.
  • This will be reviewed with you on your next office visit.

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