Noran Neurological Clinic
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Prepare for Your EEG Test

EEG (electroencephalogram)

This painless test measures the electrical activity given off by your brain. The test involves pasting 20 small disc electrodes in various locations on your scalp. The test takes about one hour. You may need to shampoo your hair right after the test. We have facilities with supplies for shampooing and drying your hair.

To prepare for an EEG, please do the following:

  • Eat within four hours prior to the test
  • Continue to take any medications prescribed by your doctor or allied health professional (we will ask you to list your medications prior to your EEG)
  • Do not use hair spray or styling gel prior to the test

Sleep-Deprived EEG

This test is similar to a regular EEG, as described above, except that you will be asked to stay awake for 24 hours prior to your exam time. Children under the age of 12 who take this test are asked to remain awake from midnight until exam time. Do not eat or drink anything containing caffeine between midnight and the time of your test. A sleep-deprived EEG takes about one-and-a-half to two hours.

Ambulatory EEG

This test is similar to a regular EEG, as described above, except that you will complete the testing over an extended period of time at home. The chemical activity of the brain cells are recorded during this time period onto a computer which is then interpreted by a neurologist.

Setup for the test takes approximately one hour and requires a technician pasting 25 small electrodes onto the surface of the scalp using a sticky, water-soluble paste. The wires are covered with netting and a bandana. The electrodes plug into a small recording unit called a headbox that is worn on the waist or in a small backpack.

You will be given a diary at your appointment to help record descriptions of events at the times of any occurring spells. If you feel a symptom of an event (such as dizziness, light-headedness, faintness, seizures, shaking) you will be instructed to push the event marker and give a detailed description of the events. Diary entries should be made every hour indicating activities such as eating, taking medication, sleeping, watching TV, etc.

During the testing period:
You may do many quiet normal daily activities such as:

  • Play games, cards, crafts
  • Do homework, paperwork
  • Read, write
  • Watch TV or listen to music
  • Please take all medications as instructed by your physician

Please do not:

  • Take a bath or shower
  • Chew gum
  • Chew crunchy foods aside from during meal times
  • Get the wires or equipment wet (water will damage the equipment)

All equipment including wires, EEG headbox and event markers, carrying case or backpack, and completed diaries must be returned.

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