Measuring Your Brain’s Electrical Activity

At Complete Neurological Care, we provide a wide range of diagnostic procedures as the first step before treatment. One of those is a mouthful — the electroencephalogram. Here’s more about this important diagnostic tool.

What is an electroencephalogram?

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that detects electrical activity in your brain using small metal discs (electrodes) attached to your scalp. Your brain cells communicate via electrical impulses and are active all the time, even during sleep. The activity shows up as wavy lines on an EEG recording.

EEGs play an important role in diagnosing many brain disorders, including epilepsy.

Why are EEGs done?

An EEG can show changes in brain activity that are useful when diagnosing different brain disorders. Beyond seizures, EEGs can also help in diagnosing and treating these issues:

How are EEGs done?

These are painless tests. The electrodes don’t emit or transmit any sensations, they simply record your brain waves. These are the steps involved with the test.

  1. A technician measures your head and marks the spots on your scalp to attach the electrodes. These spots may be scrubbed with a gritty cream to improve contact.
  2. The electrodes are attached to your scalp using a special adhesive. For some patients, an elastic cap fitted with electrodes is used instead. The electrodes are connected with wires to an instrument that amplifies the brain waves and records them on a computer.
  3. Once the electrodes are in place, the actual test takes up to one hour. When testing for some conditions, you may be required to sleep, which would involve longer periods for testing. During the test, you relax in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. The technician may ask you to perform simple calculations, read a paragraph, look at a picture, breathe deeply for a few minutes, or look at a flashing light.
  4. Video is recorded during your EEG. Your body motions are captured by a video camera while the EEG records your brain waves. This added dimension helps with diagnosis.

For our various diagnostic tests available, call us at Complete Neurological Care, (800) 200-8196. With nine locations across the city and upper New Jersey, there’s a location near you to help.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Pediatric ADHD Treatment & Medication

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder found in children who have difficulty paying attention or controlling impulsive behavior.

Are My Shaking Hands a Concern?

As we age, especially past the age of 60 or 65, it seems our hands can shake slightly when we’re trying to perform an action with them. Many people simply associate this with the slackening of the muscles that’s a...

The Sciatic Nerve and that Tingling Leg

It may have been a while since you felt as if you were “tingling” with excitement. Maybe it was before a big date when you were in high school. Maybe it was on Christmas morning when you were a little kid.