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Electroencephalogram (EEG)

What is an EEG?

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that uses small, flat metal discs called electrodes to detect electrical activity in your brain. These electrodes are attached to your scalp in order to track electrical impulses, which then are translated as wavy lines on an EEG recording.

EEG is the primary diagnostic procedure for epilepsy but also may help identify other brain disorders.

What to Expect During an EEG

EEG is a non-invasive, safe, and painless procedure that may be conducted at your physician’s office, laboratory, or hospital. The typical EEG lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.

EEGs may be conducted while you are awake or asleep. When EEGs are performed on people with epilepsy, sometimes seizures are intentionally triggered; in such cases, medical assistance is always on hand if necessary.

Uses of EEG Imaging

EEG is an important tool for use in diagnosing and treating:

  • Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  • Stroke
  • Brain dysfunction or inflammation (encephalitis)
  • Brain tumors
  • Head injuries
  • Dementia
  • Sleep disorders
  • Memory problems

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