While reviewing a patient’s medical history and conducting a neurological consultation, the neurologist may determine that it is necessary to perform an EEG test to measure brain wave activity. During the EEG testing, small metal discs or electrodes are briefly attached to the patient’s scalp. While the patient is relaxing, the EEG machine will listen as brain cells talk to each other through tiny signals called impulses. These impulses or brain wave activity are detected by the electrodes and transmitted across the wires to the EEG machine. The machine translates the electrical signals into patterns that are then viewed as a graph on the neurologist’s computer.
Neurologists use EEG tests to diagnose brain disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, sleep disorders (narcolepsy), altered behaviour, unconscious spells, Brain tumours, Brain infections and head injury patients. It can also detect seizures caused as a result of stroke, which is one of the common causes of seizures in the elderly.
Abnormal results on an EEG test may indicate a seizure disorder or underlying brain dysfunction
The EEG test is a completely painless procedure and poses no significant health risks. However, there are certain conditions that may interfere with the reading of an EEG test. These include certain medications (sedatives), bright lights, low blood sugar levels during the test and body or eye movements during the procedure.