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What is an EEG (electroencephalogram)?

An EEG is a recording of the electrical activity that the brain naturally produces. This is done using wires with small metal discs on that are attached to the head using sticky paste. It is a painless procedure.

What should I do before the test?

Please wash your hair and do not use any hair products

Take your medication as usual unless directed by your doctor

Eat as normal

Bring a list of medication with you

You may want to bring a brush, comb or hat with you as the paste used may leave your hair slightly untidy.

What will happen during the test?

  • A healthcare scientist will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. They will need to take a clinical history from you.
  • Your head will be measured using a tape measure and small marks drawn on with a skin pencil (this will wash off easily)
  • Electrodes (wires with small metal disks on) with be attached to your head using sticky paste  (this will also be removed easily)
  • You will either lie on a bed or remain in a chair and be asked to relax.
  • We may ask for your consent to perform two additional exercises during the recording. This includes deep breathing for 3 minutes and asking you to look at a flashing light. This will be explained to you in the test.
  • The healthcare scientist will remove the electrodes and wipe clean with water.
  • The whole test should take under an hour.

Sleep/Sleep deprived EEG

If you have been invited for a sleep EEG we require you to be sleep deprived for this test.

Please stay awake 2 hours later and wake 2 hours earlier than usual.

The test involves the same set up as an EEG but you will then be asked to lie down and try to sleep.

How will I get my results?

The results will be analysed by a consultant neurophysiologist and sent back to the doctor who requested the test. This should happen within 10 working days of the test.

Contact details

To change your appointment or if you have any questions please contact the neurophysiology department on 0117 3428254

More information

Please allow plenty of time to get to your appointment. Parking is particularly difficult. If you are more than 15 minutes late we may not be able to perform the test. If you are unable to attend your appointment please inform the department as soon as possible by calling the number above.