An Electroencephalogram (EEG) is a brain wave test that detects abnormalities in the electrical activity of the brain. This helps us to diagnose:
Despite what you might have heard elsewhere, an EEG does not treat or cure illness, read your mind, give you an electric shock or measure your IQ.
A registered technologist performs EEGs. The technologist applies electrodes (small metal disks) to your scalp with an adhesive gel or paste. The gel looks and smells like clear nail polish. The paste is odorless and looks like toothpaste. This is a painless procedure and the gel or paste is easily removed after the test.
The electrodes pick up your brain's electrical activity and carry it by wires to a computer that amplifies the signals and stores them. Later, a trained neurophysiologist interprets these signals. The neurophysiologist sends a report to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you. This whole process takes about a week.
The most important way to prepare for your EEG: Don't sleep. We record a portion of your EEG during natural sleep, so you should get less than half your normal sleep the night before the test. In some cases, patients must stay awake all night. Don't sleep during the ride to the hospital.
If you know you won't be able to fall asleep naturally during the EEG, let us know in advance and we'll arrange to administer a mild sedative.