Electroencephalogram (EEG)

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test to measure the electrical activity of the brain.

EEG is used to look at your brain activity. It can help diagnose seizures. It may also be used to diagnose or monitor the following health conditions:
  • Abnormal changes in body chemistry that affect the brain
  • Brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • Confusion
  • Head injuries
  • Infections
  • Tumors
EEG is also used to:
  • Evaluate problems with sleep ( sleep disorders)
  • Investigate periods of unconsciousness
  • Monitor the brain during brain surgery

An EEG may be done to show that the brain has no activity, in the case of someone who is in a deep coma. It can be helpful when trying to decide if someone is brain dead.

EEG cannot be used to measure intelligence.


The procedure is very safe. However, the flashing lights or fast breathing (hyperventilation) required during the test may trigger seizures in those with seizure disorders. The health care provider performing the EEG is trained to take care of you if this happens.

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