EEG or Electroencephalogram;
Brain wave test
electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test to detect abnormalities
in the electrical activity of the brain.
How the test is performed:
Brain cells communicate by producing
tiny electrical impulses. In an EEG, electrodes are placed
on the scalp over multiple areas of the brain to detect and
record patterns of electrical activity and check for abnormalities.
The test is performed by an EEG technician
in a specially designed room. You will be asked to lie on
your back on a table.
The technician will apply between 16
and 25 flat metal discs (electrodes) in different positions
on your scalp. The discs are held in place with a sticky paste.
The electrodes are connected by wires to an amplifier and
a computerized recording machine.
The recording machine converts the
electrical signals into a series of wavy lines that are digitally
recorded on the computer. You will need to lie still with
your eyes closed because any movement can alter the results.
You may be asked to do certain things
during the recording, if indicated, such as breathe deeply
and rapidly for several minutes, or look at a bright flickering
light through closed eyes.
How to prepare for the test:
- You will need to wash your hair
the night before the test. Do not use any oils, sprays,
or conditioner on your hair before this test.
- You should take all medications
regularly, unless given other instructions by your physician.
- Sometimes it is necessary to sleep
during the test, so you may be asked to reduce your sleep
time the night before
How the test will feel:
This test causes no discomfort. Although
having electrodes pasted onto your skin may feel strange,
they only record activity and do not produce any sensation.
Why the test is performed:
EEG is used to help diagnose the presence
and type of seizure disorders, to look for causes of confusion,
and to evaluate head injuries, tumors, infections, degenerative
diseases, and metabolic disturbances that affect the brain.
It is also used to evaluate sleep disorders
and to investigate periods of unconsciousness. EEG cannot
be used to "read the mind", measure intelligence,
or diagnose mental illness.
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