EEG (Electroencephalogram) Test


An EEG is a test that identifies electrical activity in the patient’s brain using tiny metal discs (electrodes) that are attached to the scalp of the patient. Brain cells communicate through electrical impulses and are active all the time, even when the patients are asleep. The result shows up as wavy lines on an EEG recording.

An EEG is one of the prominent diagnostic tests carried out for epilepsy. An EEG would also play a vital role in diagnosing other brain disorders.


An EEG comes in handy in determining the changes in the brain activity of patients. These brain activities could be useful in diagnosing brain disorders, especially epilepsy or another seizure disorder in the patients. An EEG also assists in diagnosing or treating the following diseases:

  • Brain tumor
  • Brain damage from a severe head injury
  • Brain dysfunction that could have a variety of causes (encephalopathy)
  • Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • Stroke
  • Sleep disorders


Before the Test:

Before the EEG test is conducted, patients are asked to avoid anything with caffeine on the day of the test because it could affect the test results drastically. Usual medications should be carried out by the patients unless the doctors bar the restrictions.

Patients might be asked to sleep during the test. Hence, they might need to be sleep deprived on the previous day. The patients should use no hair products such as conditioners or shampoos, as they might affect the results of the test.

During the Test:

The patients would feel least bothered by any discomfort during the test. The electrodes that are stuck to the head do not transmit any sensations and only record the brain waves. The electrodes that are connected with wires to an instrument amplifies the brain waves and records them on computer equipment. Once the electrodes are in the proper position, an EEG then typically takes up to 60 minutes to complete.

After the Test:

The technician removes the electrodes or caps from the patient’s head. If the patients had no sedative, then they would feel no side effects of the test and could quickly return to their regular routine. If the patients were under a sedation, then it would take time for the effect of the sedative to wear off. 


Doctors, who are trained to analyze EEGs, understand the recording, and send the results to the doctor who asked the EEG report of the patient.

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