Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
An EEG is generally performed as one test in a series of neurological evaluations. Rarely does the EEG form the sole basis for a particular diagnosis.
Full instructions should be given to individuals receiving an EEG when they schedule their...
test. Typically, individuals taking medications that affect the central nervous system, such as anticonvulsants, stimulants, or antidepressants, are told to discontinue their prescription for a short time prior to the test (usually one to two days). However, such requests should be cleared with the treating physician. EEG test candidates may be asked to avoid food and beverages that contain caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant. They may also be asked to arrive for the test with clean hair that is free of styling products to make attachment of the electrodes easier.
Individuals undergoing a sleep EEG may be asked to remain awake the night before their test. They may be given a sedative prior to the test to induce sleep.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is the measurement of electrical activity produced by the brain as recorded from electrodes placed on the scalp.
Just as the activity in a computer can be understood on multiple levels, from the activity of individual transistors to the function of applications, so can the electrical activity of the brain be described on relatively small to relatively large scales. At one end are action potentials in a single axon or currents within a single dendrite of a single neuron, and at the other end is the activity measured by the EEG which aggregates the electric voltage fields from millions of neurons. So-called scalp EEG is collected from tens to hundreds of electrodes positioned on different locations at the surface of the head. EEG signals (in the range of milli-volts) are amplified and digitalized for later processing. The data measured by the scalp EEG are used for clinical and research purposes. In neurology, the main diagnostic application of EEG is for epilepsy but this technique is also used to investigate many other pathologies such as sleep-related disorders, sensory deficits, brain tumors, etc. In cognitive neuroscience, EEG is used to investigate the neural correlates of mental activity from low-level perceptual and motor processes to higher-order cognition (attention, memory, reading, etc).
Select comparative data from 1999 to 2006 include an 11 percent increase in the number of neurosurgeons with full-time academic appointments and a 6 percent increase in the number of female neurosurgeons.
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