EEG (electroencephalogram) is a new service being offered by Riddiford Neurology. EEG is a technology that allows the recording and interpretation of brain electrical activity. It is classically employed in the diagnosis of epilepsy, aiming to capture seizure discharges. It is probable that such an abnormality will be found in patients with epilepsy, even if the patient does not have a seizure during the recording. This is not however certain, and in some cases, patients with epilepsy will have a normal recording. The chance of obtaining a positive test increases with repeated studies.
EEG also has a role in diagnosing disorders of consciousness. While more commonly used in the acute, in-hospital setting, there may be a role for such testing in patients who present with altered consciousness or abnormalities of cognition. EEG is sensitive to the effects of some medications. Examples of medications that affect EEG include the older anti-psychotic medications such as clozapine as well as benzodiazepines. Most antiepileptic drugs do not affect the recording; however sodium valproate can suppress some electrographic (EEG) seizure discharges. Patients on antiepileptic drugs should not stop their medications prior to a recording. Providing a complete list of all medications is essential in allowing correct interpretation of the test.
Referrals for EEG can be made directly to Riddiford Neurology via normal channels. If there is a specific question regarding this testing, medical practitioners should feel free to contact one of the listed partners. The result of the test will usually be available within 48 hours (or sooner in relevant cases) and will be communicated with the referring doctor.