An EEG, or electroencephalogram, is a test that can help diagnose epilepsy. During an EEG, the electrical signals of the brain are recorded. This electrical activity is detected by electrodes, or sensors, placed on the patient's scalp and transmitted to a machine that records the activity.
Electrical signals produced by the brain neurons are picked up by the electrodes and transmitted to a machine, where they produce separate graphs on moving paper recorded in ink or on a computer screen.
Abdominal epilepsy is an exceptionally rare syndrome of epilepsy that's more likely to occur in children. With abdominal epilepsy, seizure activity causes abdominal symptoms. For example, it may cause pain and nausea. Anticonvulsant medications can improve the symptoms.
Abdominal epilepsy is so uncommon that some experts question whether it exists. Abdominal pain is common in people with epilepsy as well as without. So it could be that the abdominal pain is only coincidental, not caused by seiz...
Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor prior to your procedure.
Wash your hair the night before the test. Do not use hair cream, oils, or spray afterward.
What Happens During the EEG?
During an EEG, you lie down on the examining table or bed while about 20 electrodes are attached to your scalp. You are asked to relax and lie first with your eyes open, then later with them closed. You may be asked to breathe deeply and rapidly or to stare at a flashing light -- both of these activities produce changes in the brain-wave patterns. If you are prone to seizures, it is rare that you may experience one during the test. If you are being evaluated for a sleep disorder, EEG may be performed during the night while you are asleep. Such a recording, which may involve an evaluation of other body functions during sleep, such as respiration and pulse, is referred to as polysomnography.
What Happens After an EEG?
When the EEG is done, the electrodes are removed and the glue that held them in place is washed away with acetone. You may have to use additional acetone at home to completely remove the glue. Unless you are actively having seizures or are restricted by your doctor, you may drive home. If the EEG was performed overnight, you should arrange to have someone drive you home. If you stopped taking anticonvulsant drugs for the EEG, you can usually start taking them again.
A neurologist examines the EEG recording for abnormalities in the brain-wave pattern, which may reflect diseases of the nervous system.