Electroencephalography (EEG)

An electroencephalogram (EEG) detects electrical activity in the brain. Electrodes are attached to the scalp and electrical activity shows up as wavy lines on the screen of an electroencephalogram monitor or printed out on paper from the monitor. A neurologist then interprets the reading to determine if it is normal or not. If not, the doctor may also be able to determine the type of abnormality and in which part of the brain the abnormality is occurring. The test is done under a number of conditions, such as when you are awake, when you are sleeping, during a seizure, when you are being stimulated with light, etc.


The electroencephalogram is very useful in diagnosing epilepsy and can confirm the diagnosis in patients who may not have clear indications of seizures. It also helps determine the type of epilepsy, which affects treatment options. Medication for epilepsy varies from type to type. Electroencephalogram can also be used to monitor the results of treatment as well as the patient’s symptoms. It is also used to decide if medication can be stopped if the patient has not has a seizure in at least two years.

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate brain function through the changes in blood circulation.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG).
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).
  • Electrocorticography (ECoG).
  • Single photon emission tomography (SPET).
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).

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