ZocdocAnswersAre EEG nets used in brain wave studies?

Question

Are EEG nets used in brain wave studies?

I am going to have a brain wave study performed. I am 30 and male. I saw a picture of an EEG net. Will they use this on me? Will it hurt?

Answer

A "brain wave study" most likely refers to an EEG, which is short for "electroencephalogram" - this word means using electricity to record brain activity. The brain uses electrical impulses to communicate with other parts of the brain and with the rest of the body. An EEG records these electrical impulses onto a computer. EEG is not painful; in fact, it typically produces no sensation at all as it is just recording electrical impulses rather than generating them. Typically, electrodes are either applied directly to the head with adhesive or a "net" resembling a hairnet which is filled with electrodes is placed over the user's head. This is then left in place for various amounts of time, between a few hours to several days depending on the diagnosis in question. You will typically be asked to do your normal activities, such as sleeping, eating, and watching TV, while you are monitored with the EEG. The most common use of EEG is to look for signs of abnormal brain activity, in particular seizures. People with clinical seizures and abnormal EEG will sometimes be diagnosed with epilepsy. The EEG can be normal in people with epilepsy, particularly if you do not have seizures while you are on the EEG; it can also be abnormal in certain cases of people without epilepsy. Only your doctor can make a diagnosis of seizures or epilepsy, by taking into consideration the EEG findings as well as your personal clinical history.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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