Electroencephalograms (EEGs)

At Saint Peter’s University Hospital, cutting-edge technology is helping to advance the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, including those of the brain.

 

Video electroencephalograms (EEGs) help specialists at The Epilepsy Center at Saint Peter’s University Hospital to confirm when the diagnosis is epilepsy. Neurologists use video EEGs to study the connection between brain-wave patterns and external signs of seizures that can be a symptom of epilepsy, and to rule out other disorders such as cardiac arrhythmia (an abnormal heart rhythm) or narcolepsy (a chronic sleep disorder) in both children and adults.

 

Saint Peter’s has newly-constructed rooms where video EEGs can be performed on children and adults. During a video EEG a patient’s brain activity is recorded using electrodes that are placed on the patient’s scalp. These electrodes map out the brain’s activity; a video camera simultaneously records what happens to the patient during a seizure. Both can be viewed simultaneously on a split screen by the Saint Peter’s medical team. Specialists at Saint Peter’s view the EEG readings side by side with the videotape either in real time, if necessary for critical care, or after the test period.

 

The duration of a recording can vary from hours to days. Longer evaluations may be necessary in the case of patients with medication-resistant epilepsy who may be considered candidates for surgical treatments or patients in the intensive care unit who are at high risk of having seizures.

 

Besides being a diagnostic tool, video EEG can also be useful with patients already known to have epilepsy. Doctors can use video EEG to learn how stable the disorder is and if the patient is a candidate for a reduction in medication.

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