At Associates in Neurology, we have advanced technology to diagnose a wide range of brain disorders. One of these diagnostic tools is an electroencephalogram (EEG). An EEG is a test that detects electrical activity in your brain using small, metal discs (electrodes) that are attached to the scalp. In addition to coming into our office for an EEG, we offer ambulatory video EEGs.
Human brain cells communicate via electrical impulses that are active all the time – even when you are fast asleep. This activity appears as wavy lines on an EEG recording, which can determine any changes in brain activity that might indicate a brain disorder, such as epilepsy.
An EEG is also helpful in diagnosing and treating other disorders, such as:
- A brain tumor
- Brain damage from a head injury
- Brain dysfunction due to a variety of causes
- Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
- Sleep disorders
How to Prepare for an EEG
Your hair must be clean and free of sprays, oils, creams, lotions, braids, and other hair preparations. Shampoo your hair and rinse with clear water the evening before or the morning of the test. Do not apply any hair conditioners or oils after shampooing.
It is important to avoid foods that contain caffeine (such as coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate) for at least 8 hours before the test.
Eat a small meal shortly before the test, because low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may produce an abnormal test.
Avoid alcohol for 24 hours prior to the test.
You should continue to take all medications unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
What to Expect During An EEG
An EEG is a safe and painless test. You feel little or no discomfort during an EEG because the electrodes do not transmit any sensations. They simply record brain waves.
First, a technician measures your head and marks your scalp to indicated where the electrodes should be attached. The discs are then applied to your scalp using a special adhesive. The electrodes are connected with wires to an instrument which amplifies and records the brain waves on computer equipment.
The EEG test typically takes up to 90 minutes, unless you are being tested for a condition that requires you to sleep. Throughout the test, you relax comfortably with your eyes closed unless the technician asks you to open and close your eyes, perform some simple calculation, read or look at a picture, or gaze at a flashing light. Often, your body motions are also video recorded to help your doctor diagnose and treat your specific condition.
Provided you have not been given a sedative, you should not feel any side effects following the procedure. Once the technician removes the electrodes, you can return to your normal activities. If you have been sedated, it will take time for the medication to wear off and someone will need to take you home. In that case, you should rest and refrain from driving for the rest of the day.
Your doctor will analyze the EEG recording and provide the doctor who ordered the test with the results.
EEG Testing in Southeast Michigan
To schedule an EEG at one of our conveniently located offices in Farmington Hills, Novi, Southfield, Brighton, or Howell, Michigan, contact Associates in Neurology today at (248) 478-5512 or use our secure online Request an Appointment form.