What is an Electroencephalogram Testing?

ElectroencephalogramAn Electroencephalogram Testing is a used to evaluate the electrical activity in the brain. Brain cells communicate with each other through electrical impulse. An EEG can be used to help detect potential problems associated with this activity.

The test tracks and records brain wave patterns. Small, flat metal discs called electrodes are attached to the scalp with wires, the electrodes analyze the electrical impulses in the brain and send signals to the computer where the results are recorded.

The electrical impulses in an EEG recording look like wavy lines with peaks and valleys. These lines allow the doctor to quickly assess whether there are abnormal patterns. Any irregularities may be a sign of seizure or other brain disorders.

  • Headache
  • Seizure Disorders (such as Epilepsy)
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Head Injury
  • Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Brain Tumor
  • Encephalopathy (a disease that causes brain dysfunction)
  • Memory Problems
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s

To determine if there is damage to your nerves, Dr. Mir will attach a small recording electrode to the surface of one part of your limb, and will touch your skin at another point with a pair of electrodes delivering the shock. You will feel a tingling sensation that may or may not be painful. As there are several nerves in each extremity which need to be tested, the procedure is repeated 3 or 4 times or more per extremity studied.

The amount of current delivered is always kept at a safe level and is not harmful. Patients wearing pacemakers or other electrical devices need not worry since this current will rarely interfere with such devices. This test is used to diagnose conditions in your extremities only. It does not repair or fix damage done to nerves and muscles.

In preparation for the NCS, you should bathe or shower the night or morning before the test so that the skin areas are clean. You should not apply any lotions or oils to your skin, as these can interfere with the recording of the electrical impulses. You can take all your regular medications on schedule prior to the test. We suggest that you wear loose-fitting, comfortable and easily-removed clothing for any office visits with us, and we would suggest that the ladies not wear panty hose. You will be able to resume all your usual activities immediately after your test.

The tests usually take 20 to 45 minutes. You can perform any of your normal activities, like eating, driving, and exercising before the tests and you can also resume your normal activities after the tests. There are no lasting side effects.

Dr. Mir will discuss your test results with you during your visit. After the exam, a copy will be sent to the referring doctor’s office for their files. You will need to check with the doctor who sent you for the next step in your care.

Doctors who do EMGs go to 4 years of medical school then have 3 or 4 more years of training in a residency program. Medical training helps the doctor decide which tests to perform based on your symptoms. It teaches doctors what can go wrong with the human body and how to tell the difference between these problems.

The American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine’s policy is that an appropriately trained doctor should do all needle EMG testing. Dr. Mir is trained and has years of experience in conducting these tests. A trained assistant or technologist, under a doctor’s supervision, can do nerve conduction studies.