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EEG - electroencephalogram

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

A routine EEG is a cost-effective way to quickly assess and aid in the diagnosis of a variety of neurological problems including seizures, stroke, brain tumors, encephalopathy, head injury, encephalitis and organic causes of psychiatric symptoms.

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What it is

A routine EEG (electroencephalogram) is a painless test that measures the electrical activity of your brain. EEGs include video of the patient and are performed by registered EEG technologists.

Good for detecting

It is a cost-effective way to quickly assess and assist in diagnosing a variety of neurological problems including seizures, stroke, brain tumors, head injury, encephalitis, encephalopathy and organic causes of psychiatric symptoms.

What to expect

You will relax on a bed. The technologist will measure your head, part your hair and mark your scalp with a wax pencil. Then, a gritty lotion will be applied.  Electrodes are placed on the surface of your scalp. The room may be darkened during the recording. Your brain’s activity is recorded and saved to a computer while you rest with your eyes closed.  You will not feel anything during the recording. The test may include breathing deeply and quickly, looking at a bright, flashing light, opening and closing your eyes, and counting or answering questions. The technologist will remain in the room with you during the test.

Good to know

A routine EEG is a 30-minute recording, but special requests for recording up to two hours may be accommodated. Bedside recordings are possible for inpatients.

Outpatient appointments will last approximately one hour. Continue to take any medications prescribed by your doctor, unless instructed otherwise. Bring a list of your current medications.

After the test, you may proceed with your normal daily activities. A neurologist will review and interpret your EEG recording.  The results will be sent to your referring physician.  A copy of the EEG recording is available on CD upon request. 

Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s EEG Lab has been accredited by the American Board of Registration for EEG and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET) since 2008.

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