What is an EEG?

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain.  Special sensors electrodes are attached to your head and hooked by wires to a computer. The computer records your brain’s electrical activity on the screen or on paper as wavy lines. Certain conditions, such as seizures, can be seen by the changes in the normal pattern of the brain’s electrical activity.

What can it diagnose?

The test is used to help diagnose conditions such as:

  • seizures
  • epilepsy
  • head injuries
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • brain tumors
  • sleeping problems
  • confirm brain death

What should I expect?

You’ll feel little or no discomfort during an EEG.   The doctor will have you lie down bed while about 20 electrodes are attached to your scalp. You are asked to relax and lie first with your eyes open, then later with them closed. You may be asked to breathe deeply and rapidly or to stare at a flashing light — both of these activities produce changes in the brain-wave patterns.  When the EEG is done, the electrodes are removed and the glue that held them in place is washed away with acetone.

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