Neurological Institute of Los Angeles
Private Medical Practices located in Los Angeles, CA & Tarzana, CA
If you've been having seizures or other symptoms of conditions like epilepsy, you might need to have an electroencephalogram (EEG). The team at the Neurological Institute of Los Angeles provide both EEG routine and EEG ambulatory tests to help identify the cause of worrisome neurological symptoms. The practice has offices in Los Angeles, and Glendale, California, so call the location that's most convenient to book an appointment, or use the online form to schedule a consultation.
EEG Routine and EEG Ambulatory Q&A
What is an EEG?
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test the Neurological Institute of Los Angeles uses to measure your brain's electrical activity.
A technician places small discs called electrodes on your scalp to record the electrical impulses your brain cells use to communicate. The EEG machine displays the impulses as wavy lines.
During your EEG, the technician might ask you to perform certain tasks, such as:
- Opening and closing your eyes
- Making simple calculations
- Reading a paragraph
- Looking at a picture
- Breathing deeply for a few minutes
- Looking at a flashing light
A video camera records your body’s motions while the EEG is recording your brain waves. Looking at both helps your provider diagnose and treat your symptoms.
What's the difference between EEG routine and EEG ambulatory?
Routine and ambulatory EEG both involve having electrodes placed on your head. However, while a routine EEG takes place at the Neurological Institute of Los Angeles office and takes up to an hour, an EEG ambulatory can take 24 hours or more.
For the ambulatory procedure, the technician attaches the electrodes as with the routine EEG, then covers them with a cap or layers of gauze. Instead of being connected to an EEG machine, the electrodes go to a portable recorder. This is a small box you wear across your waist or shoulder.
While wearing the ambulatory EEG, you continue with your day as much as possible, recording what you do and how you feel. If you have a seizure, you or a caregiver should press an event button on the recorder when the seizure begins.
Why would I need a routine or ambulatory EEG?
Your provider at the Neurological Institute of Los Angeles might want you to have a routine or ambulatory EEG if they need information about changes in your brain activity. This information can help them diagnose seizure disorders like epilepsy, as well as:
- Brain tumors
- Encephalopathy (brain dysfunction)
- Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
- Brain damage due to a head injury
- Sleep disorders
Continuous EEGs are also useful for ensuring that someone in a medically induced coma is receiving the right amount of anesthetic.
Do EEG routine and EEG ambulatory tests cause any discomfort?
Both EEG routine and EEG ambulatory tests are noninvasive, and patients typically find the experience painless. The only discomfort might come from peeling the electrodes off your skin and hair.
Your provider at the Neurological Institute of Los Angeles might need to trigger a seizure during your EEG, but they take every precaution to ensure your safety and comfort.
For more information about EEG routine and EEG ambulatory tests, call the Neurological Institute of Los Angeles today or book an appointment online.