Electroencephalography

Your caregiver has ordered an EEG for you. This is a test which records the electrical activity (brain waves) in your brain. It gives information about how your brain is working. It cannot read your thoughts, ideas, or knowledge. The test usually lasts for an hour and one half.

PREPARATION FOR EXAM

  • Your hair must be clean and dry.

  • Do not use hair spray, oils, or tease your hair the day of the test.

  • Take your medicine unless your caregiver has instructed otherwise.

  • Eat regularly unless instructed otherwise.

  • Avoid caffeine four hours prior to test.

  • If your caregiver has ordered a "sleep deprived EEG", you may be asked to sleep less or stay awake the night before the procedure.

  • Other special instructions may be given.

METHOD OF TESTING

You will be seated in a comfortable chair and small metal discs called electrodes will be attached to your head with an adhesive (like glue). These electrodes pick up the electrical activity of your brain and are amplified in the electroencephalograph machine. These signals are then printed out on paper. There may be minor, very minimal discomfort associated with electrode placement.

DURING THE TEST YOU WILL BE ASKED TO:

  • Lie quietly and relax.

  • Open and close your eyes.

  • Breathe deeply for three minutes.

  • Look at a flashing light for a short period of time.

FOLLOWING THE TEST

This is a complex test that may take some time to interpret. You will not find out the results on the day of the test. The electrodes will be removed with a solvent solution such as acetone or fingernail polish remover. You may then return to normal activities.

A neurologist (nerve disorder specialist) will interpret your test and send a report to your caregiver. Find out how you are to receive your results. Remember it is your responsibility to obtain your results. Do not assume that everything is normal simply because you have not heard from your caregiver.