The electroencephalogram is a test that, through the use of electrodes, can determine the electrical activity of the brain . This allows brain diseases such as epilepsy to be detected.
The electroencephalogram uses small metal discs that fit on the patient’s scalp , which allows electrical impulses to occur, achieving communication between neurons.
This neuronal communication results in a record, which is read through wavy lines that account for what happened in the exam and how the patient’s brain is.
The electroencephalogram uses activation methods such as hyperventilation and photostimulation, which provides bioelectrical activity. According to the age and habits of the patient, normal parameters of brain activity are established.
What can be determined with an electroencephalogram?
As we have said, by means of the electroencephalogram, diseases related to brain activity can be diagnosed. Among the diagnostic utilities of an electroencephalogram are:
- Brain disorders such as epilepsy or seizures
- Brain damage due to head trauma
- All types of encephalopathies (pathologies related to the brain)
- Encephalitis (brain swelling)
- Sleep disorders
- Cardiovascular accidents
- Depressive disorder
- Brain death if the patient is in a coma
How is an electroencephalogram done?
The electroencephalogram can last around 30 minutes. However, when you want to diagnose sleep disorders, the electroencephalogram can last the eight hours that the patient sleeps; there are even brain scans that can take up to 24 hours.
The treating physician must examine the waves that the record is giving in the electroencephalogram: alpha, beta, delta and theta; the frequency of times in which these waves are reproduced, how is their amplitude and the morphology of each one is determined .
With these results, the doctor will be able to make a comparison with normal records and determine, in this way, if there are anomalies that allow a diagnosis of a disease or if the patient does not suffer from anything.
The results of an electroencephalogram can be taken between 7 and 15 days after the exam. It is important that you are seeing your neurologist or neurophysiologist to determine when you need an EEG and what is the best treatment for you.