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Dr Diana Andreeva
Specialist Neurologist
EEG
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1.    What is an EEG?

EEG stands for Electroencephalography. This is a recording of your brain waves (the electrical activity of your brain). During an EEG test, electrodes pick up the brainís electrical impulses and carry them to the computer where their pattern is recorded as waves. The EEG gives information about the brain that is useful to your doctor in making a diagnosis in several different conditions. It is the only test that can produce this sort of information.

2.    Why have an EEG test?

EEG can provide your doctor with valuable clues to diagnose or monitor the following health conditions:

epilepsy (diagnose it and type of epileptic seizure)

seizure disorders uch as convulsions

brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease

brain tumors (abnormal structures in the brain)

migraines

epileptic seizures (distinguish them from other types of fits such as psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, syncope)

coma (find out if a patient who is in a coma is brain-dead).

encephalopathy

haemorrhage (abnormal bleeding)

encephalitis (swelling of the brain)

amnesia (memory problem)

confusion

head injury

cerebral infarction (tissue death due to a blockage in blood flow)

3.    What should I do before the EEG test?

4.    What happens during EEG test?

         Before performing the EEG you will be explained each aspect of the test and answered any questions you may have.

         You will sit comfortably on a chair during the EEG.

         Plastic helmet and electrodes will be placed on your scalp and the electrical activity of your brain will be recorded.

         During the test you may be asked to have your eyes closed or open, to be exposed at a bright flashing light (photic stimulation) and/or to breathe deeply for at least 3 minutes (hyperventilation).

         You must keep your head still, sit as still and relaxed as possible so that the EEG recording will be clear.

         The test will take 30-40 minutes.

eeg1eeg2 3d brain mapping

5.    What happens after the EEG test?

6.    How will the results of this test assist my consultant?

         An EEG will help your consultant in the diagnosis and management of your complaints or condition.

         You have to discuss the report/findings with your consultant.

7.    What are the consequences of not having an EEG?

         An EEG is well established method of helping doctors to diagnose and treat a range of medical conditions.

         Your doctor would not have as complete a picture as they require and hence your diagnosis may take longer and/or your treatment may not be the most appropriate.

8.    Are there any alternative ways of getting the same information that an EEG provides?

         No. However, there are many areas of research taking place and the development of scanning techniques for example may mean that in the future different methods may be available.

9.    Frequently asked questions

Is the test painful? No. Slight discomfort may be felt from pressure of electrodes.

Will electrical shocks be applied? No. We are only recording electrical activity that your brain produces naturally.

Are needles involved? No

Can you read my mind? No. This is not a psychological test. We are only recording electrical impulses and not thoughts.

Can I wear jewellery? Yes. This has no effect. Occasionally earrings may have to be removed.

Does the EEG do anything to the brain? No. The machine only records signals from the brain; nothing is done to the brain.

May I eat and/or take my medicines beforehand? Eating is fine. You may also continue your usual medicines. We will, however, be asking what medicines you do take.

Will I be able to drive alone after the test? Yes.

Dr. Diana Andreeva                                       EEG

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Revised: 01 September 2014