Brain mysteries revealed: an overview of eeg scans and its importance for your health

Eeg Examination

EEG examination is one of the most common types of neurophysiological tests used to diagnose various neurological disorders. This examination measures the electrical activity of the brain using electrodes placed on the patient's scalp. With this examination, doctors can diagnose various diseases and conditions of the brain such as epilepsy, brain tumors, headaches and other nervous system disorders. EEG testing is very safe and non-invasive, making it an ideal method for detecting brain disorders in patients of any age.

What is an EEG scan?

Electroencephalography, abbreviated as EEG, is a non-invasive method of diagnosing the brain. The principle of an EEG examination is to measure electrical signals in the brain using electrodes placed on the patient's scalp. These electrical signals are then recorded and interpreted as brain waves. EEG scans are used in the diagnosis of various neurological disorders, epilepsy, or to monitor sleep cycles, for example. The examination itself is painless and usually takes a few tens of minutes. After the examination, the doctor interprets the results and makes a diagnosis.

How is an EEG scan performed?

EEG or electroencephalography is a medical test that measures the electrical activity of the brain. Performing an EEG involves placing electrodes on the scalp, i.e. on the surface of the patient's head. These electrodes are then connected to an electroencephalograph, which is a machine that records the brain signals and converts them into a graph or record. The patient must be at rest during the EEG and may be instructed to do various activities, such as sleeping or watching light stimuli. The EEG examination results in graphs that show the electrical activity of brain waves, the voltage and frequency of these waves, and other information about the brain's functioning. This can be used to diagnose various neurological disorders and diseases such as epilepsy, brain tumours or attention deficit disorders.

When is an EEG scan indicated?

Electroencephalographic (EEG) testing is used to diagnose various neurological disorders. Indications for EEG include epilepsy, migraines, head injuries, brain tumors, degenerative brain diseases and other neurological conditions. EEG can also help diagnose sleep disorders and monitor the effectiveness of treatment in patients with epilepsy or other neurological disorders. A good reason for EEG testing is to suspect a high level of activity in the brain, such as hyperactivity in children or ADHD.

Preparing for an EEG scan

When preparing for an EEG scan, it is important to follow several recommendations. First of all, you should not take any stimulants, such as coffee or energy drinks, at least 24 hours before the scheduled examination. Furthermore, you should be well rested and sleepy, as fatigue can affect the test results. It is also advisable to wash your hair the day before the test, as oily hair can affect the quality of the signals.

During the examination itself, you will need to lie on a bed and not move unnecessarily. Electrodes will be attached to your head and connected to the electroencephalograph using gel. The examination usually takes about 30-60 minutes and then your brain activity is processed into graphical outputs called EEG recordings. So the overall preparation for an EEG scan is relatively simple, but following the instructions will help ensure the most accurate and reliable results.

Process of EEG examination

The EEG examination process begins with the application of electrodes to the patient's head, which are then connected to an electroencephalograph. During the examination, the machine records the brain's electrical signals in real time. The patient must be calm and at rest so as not to influence the results of the measurement. The total duration of the EEG examination ranges from 20 minutes to several hours, depending on the indication for the examination. At the end of the examination, the physician evaluates the measured results and assesses the presence or absence of pathological changes in the electrical activity of the brain, which can help in the diagnosis of various neurological and psychiatric diseases.

EEG results

The results of EEG examinations are crucial for the diagnosis and treatment of various neurological and psychiatric disorders. This method measures the electrical activity of the brain using electrodes that are placed on the patient's scalp. The results of an EEG scan provide information about different wave frequencies in the brain, such as the frequency of alpha, beta, delta and theta waves. These results can help diagnose epilepsy, brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease and other similar conditions. In addition, EEG scans can also be useful for evaluating a patient's sleep behavior and attentional perception. Overall, EEG testing is a valuable tool for identifying and monitoring a patient's brain health status.

Benefits and limitations of EEG examination

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a diagnostic test that is used to measure the electrical activity of the brain. This examination has a number of advantages for medical practice. One of the biggest advantages is that EEG is a non-sterile and non-invasive procedure, which means that no object is inserted into the patient's body. Another advantage is that EEG allows for early detection and diagnosis of diseases associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain, such as epilepsy, stroke, or other neurological disorders.

However, EEG also has some limitations. Since this type of examination only measures the electrical activity of the brain on the surface of the skull, it may not be able to pick up problems inside the brain. In addition, signals from an EEG are slower than those from a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan, which means that some abnormalities may not show up immediately on EEG results.

It is important to be aware of these advantages and limitations when deciding to perform an EEG scan. In many cases, EEG can be a very useful tool for diagnosing neurological disorders, but for other types of disorders it may need to be combined with other diagnostic methods such as MRI or CT scans.

Possible complications of an EEG scan

Complications can occur when performing an EEG scan that could affect the results of the test. One of the main potential complications is lack of patient cooperation, which can lead to incorrect placement of the electrodes or their movement during the examination. Other potential complications include allergic reactions to the gel used to attach the electrodes, nausea and vomiting caused by stress factors associated with the procedure, and possible adverse effects of the electromagnetic fields used to measure brain signals. Therefore, it is important that the patient is informed of the procedures before and during testing to minimize the risk of potential complications and to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the test results.

In conclusion, EEG testing is a very important tool for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases and disorders. This type of examination allows to record the activities of the brain and thus provides physicians with valuable information about the patient's condition. Thanks to modern technology, this process is becoming increasingly accurate and reliable, leading to faster and more effective diagnosis. The use of EEG scans is therefore very important not only for correct diagnosis but also for the successful treatment of patients suffering from neurological diseases.

Published: 08. 08. 2023

Category: Health

Author: Zdeněk Vlček

Tags: eeg examination | type of examination