Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
Being off certain medications for one to two days may trigger seizures. Certain procedures used during EEG may trigger seizures in persons with epilepsy. Those procedures include flashing lights and deep breathing. If the EEG is being used as a diagnostic...
for epilepsy (i.e., to determine the type of seizures an individual is experiencing) this may be a desired effect, although the person needs to be monitored closely so that the seizure can be aborted if necessary. This type of test is known as an ictal EEG.
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).
On neurosurgery it is important to have new types of procedures, like stereotactic radiosurgery that is a newer type of focused radiation that has been used with some success for patients with metastatic brain tumors
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