What is Electroencephalogram?

Electroencephalogram, or EEG, measures brainwave activity to evaluate brain dysfunction using safe and painless electrodes (flat metal discs) affixed to your scalp.

During the EEG, your brain cells actively transmit electrical impulses, even while you sleep. Through the electrodes, these impulses are recorded as wavy lines on an EEG recording. EEG is safe and painless, as the electrodes don’t transmit any sensations, they simply record brainwaves. Sometimes seizures are intentionally triggered in patients and medically monitored with care.

What Will I Learn from an EEG?

The EEG recording detects changes in normal brain activity. EEG is the primary diagnostic test for Epilepsy and other seizure disorders, as well as a means to detect brain disorders. It does not measure intelligence or detect mental illness. An EEG could be ordered if there are symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Memory Loss
Zia Neurology EEG Machine

EEG Can Help Diagnose

  • Brain dysfunction (encephalopathy)
  • Brain tumors
  • Concussions and head injuries
  • Dementia
  • Help determine brain activity in coma patients
  • Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • Primary test for diagnosing Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stroke

What Can You Expect

EEG typically takes about 60 minutes. Sleep disorders may require more extensive testing at longer durations. A technician will place an elastic cap fitted with electrodes on your head. The technician will then clean the surface of each arm and behind the ears, and put gel into the cap’s holes. The electrodes are connected with wires to an instrument that will amplify and record the brainwave activity on a computer.

During most of the test, you will be in a relaxed position with your eyes closed. At various times during the test, the technician may ask you to open and close your eyes, breathe deeply (hyperventilate) for a few minutes, or look at a flashing light.

It is customary to video record the EEG procedure to capture your body motions simultaneously with the brain waves, which can help the doctor diagnose and treat your condition.

Zia Neurology EEG Test


  • Follow the doctor’s explicit instructions.
  • Wash your hair the day or night before your appointment, but do not use conditioners or any other hair products. This will enable the electrodes to properly adhere to the scalp.
  • Avoid caffeine on test day, as it can hinder the results.
  • Take your usual medications, unless instructed otherwise.


You should not feel any side effects of the EEG, and should be able to return to normal activity following the test. If you were given a sedative during the procedure, please arrange for transportation home following your appointment.

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Patients of Zia Neurology enjoy personalized care from trained staff and a certified medical specialist.

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