EEG Data - is collected using sophisticated sensors.
What is an EEG? - EEG (or electroencephalography) is a painless test that records electrical signals produced on the surface of the brain. EEG helps physicians in the diagnosis of numerous neurological problems, such as epilepsy, strokes, and degenerative diseases. The EEG is also used to look for organic (physical) causes of psychiatric symptoms and disabilities, like seizures.
Highly sensitive monitoring equipment records activity through metal discs (also called electrodes). These disks are placed at measured distances on a patient’s head using a gel.
What will an EEG tell my physician and me about my seizures? EEG will help characterize and determine what kind of seizure the patient has, whether they start at the same place in the brain, and where seizures are localized. EEG can also shed light onto causes of altered consciousness, developmental delay, autism and other neurological conditions.
Is the test painful or invasive?No, EEG is neither painful nor invasive. Plan for a “bad hair day,” however.
What should I expect during an EEG?A recording technician will greet you and ask for you to sit in a chair or the bed. The technician will measure your head and mark recording sites with a washable pen. Using a special gel, the technician softly applies the electrodes (gold plates) to the the head.
When the recording starts, the patient will not feel anything. During testing, the patient will be asked to take deep breaths for 3 minutes (hyperventilate) and to watch a flickering light. The test usually takes about 90-120 minutes for a routine study and up to 24 hours for Long Term Monitoring (LTM) EEG. The principal role of the patient is to remain still, and to relax.
We hope that patients can sleep so the EEG can record the full spectrum of signals. To help achieve sleep, the patient may be asked to restrict sleep during the night prior to the EEG appointment.
How should I prepare for an EEG? On the day of the appointment:
Wash and dry your hair.
Please do not put in any hair products (e.g. hair spray, mousse, etc.).
Avoid skin moisturizers as well.
You should also eat regular meals, avoiding caffeinated products.
Take your medication as prescribed, unless instructed otherwise by a physician.
On the day of the test, dress your child in clothing that does not slip on and off over the head. Shirts that zip or button up the front or back are preferred.
Bring a list of all the medications your child takes, including how often your child takes each medication and how much your child takes with each dose.
Your child should not have any drinks that have caffeine in them on the day of the test. These drinks include soda or pop with caffeine, coffee and tea.
You may bring along a “comfort” item—such as a stuffed animal or “blankie”—for your child to hold during the test.
Remind teens and young adults this is going to be a "BAD HAIR DAY". Bring a hat if they are concerned about their image.
How should I prepare for a sleep deprived EEG?Do the best you can!
For adults, we ask to limit sleep by allowing no more than four hours of sleep the night before testing. For instance, if you appointment is 8:00 am-9:00 am, then you should go to bed at 12:00 pm and wake up at 4:00 am. If your appointment is from 10:00 am-1:00 pm, then you should go to bed at 2:00 am and wake up at 6:00 am. DONT DRIVE! - Ask a friend to drive you so that you are not in an accident.
Sleep schedules may vary for infants, toddlers and children. In this case, try to get to bed 1-2 hours later than usual and wake up 1-2 hours earlier.
If this is still not feasible, apply your best judgment and ask us about an individualized plan.
SAFETY FIRST - we ask adults and teenagers not to drive themselves to the appointment. Ask a family member or friend to drive.