An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a neurophysiological exam designed to assess the electrical activity in the brain, which in turn provides information about brain function.
How is it done?
Electrodes are applied to pre-defined areas of the patient’s scalp. You will rest on an observation table, most of the time with your eyes closed. During that time, data will be collected about your brain’s behaviour and responses to different types of stimulation (hyperpnea test, light stimulation).
After the exam, the patient can resume his or her activities as usual.
Electrodes are applied to the scalp, so the patient’s head and hair should be clean, dry and free of any applied products (gel, hair extensions, hair spray, etc.). You should eat before the exam and take your medications as usual; bring a list of any medications you may be taking. Preparations are different for children because they require more time and attention. Parents are therefore asked to put their children to bed as late as possible and wake them up as early as possible (sleep deprivation). This preparation procedure allows the child to sleep during the exam, which provides extremely important data in the EEG tracing. In special cases, or on the doctor’s orders, full sleep deprivation may be requested (no sleep at all on the night before the exam).
How long does it take?
The exam takes about 30 minutes. Due to an extremely detailed analysis of the brain’s activity, the report is delivered in 3 to 4 days.
Is there any risk involved?
No. It is very safe. There are no known risks or contraindications.