Brain Diagnosis through EEG
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is the technology to assess the electrical activity in the brain. Brain cells use electrical impulses to connect and communicate with each other. An EEG can quickly detect problems related to this activity. Its records the brainwave patterns that display on the computer monitor or paper in the form of curved lines. Abnormal patterns indicate irregularities, such as seizures or any other brain disorders.
WHEN DO WE AN EEG?
The primary use of an electroencephalogram is to detect brain disorders. So, the doctors prescribe an EEG confirm or rule out various conditions, like:
- Seizure disorders (such as epilepsy)
- Brain tumor
- Head injury
- Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
- Memory problem
- Sleep disorder
It can be used even to monitor brain activity during brain surgery or when someone is in a coma.
You must take some training for an electroencephalogram by following these steps:
- Wash your hair the night before the exam.
- Don’t put any hair products (like hairspray or gel).
- Stop taking any medication if the doctor prescribes it. Make a list of your medications and give it to the doctor/technician.
- Avoid the intake of caffeine for at least 8 hours before the test.
- Bring someone to the exam if the doctor suggests giving sedative for better relaxation, as the influence of the painkiller may remain after the test.
HOW IS AN EEG PERFORMED?
Several electrodes (small flat metal discs), typically 16-25 electrodes, will be attached to your scalp to track and measure your brain’s electrical impulses. The exam takes about 30 to 60 minutes to perform. Specialized technicians control electroencephalograms at laboratories, doctor’s office or hospitals. An EEG performed according to the following steps:
- You will lie down face up on a bed or a reclining chair.
- Will measure your head and mark the places for the electrodes. Those places will scrubbed with a special cream for the wires to get a better reading.
- You have to put a sticky adhesive gel on the electrodes and place them on your scalp.
- The EEG machinist may ask you to do certain things during the test (like, to relax, lie down, close your eyes, breathe deeply or to look at the stimuli).
- You may be given sedative for better relaxation. In that case, they will ask you to sleep as less as possible the night before.
Some patients may have to undergo a 24-hour EEG to capture seizure activity.
EEG is a painless, safe and noninvasive procedure. However, when someone has epilepsy or any seizure disorder, the strobe lights or stimuli may cause a seizure. The technician performing the EEG is trained to safely manage any probable situation.