An EEG can determine changes in brain activity that may be useful in diagnosing brain disorders, especially epilepsy. An EEG may be helpful to confirm, rule out or provide information that helps with management of the following disorders:
- Sleep disorders
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
- Brain tumor
- Head injury
- Encephalopathy — diffuse brain dysfunction
- Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
- Memory impairment
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a painless procedure that uses small, flat metal discs (electrodes) attached to the patient's scalp to detect electrical activity in the brain. Brain cells communicate via electrical impulses and are active all the time, even when asleep. This activity shows up as wavy lines on an EEG recording.
Doctors trained to analyze EEGs interpret the recording, and the results are sent to the patient's physician. The doctor may schedule an office appointment to discuss the results of the test.