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Clinical Services at Rush EEG Lab Tests and Patient Information

What is an electroencephalogram (EEG)? An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures the electrical activity of the brain, often referred to as a brain-wave test. An EEG is useful in diagnosing and treating many neurological disorders.

The EEG is done by attaching electrodes to the scalp, and recording the brain's activity much in the same way that an electrocardiogram [EKG] records the activity of the heart. Preparing for an EEG

What is an evoked potential test? An evoked potential (EP) test measures activity from the brain, spinal cord, and nerves which result from specific sensory stimulation. As in the EEG, electrodes are attached to various parts of the body to do this.

What is a somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) test? A somatosensory evoked potential — also known as a somatosensory evoked response (SSER) — is a test that measures the electrical activity of the sensory pathways from the arms or legs. The test takes about 90 minutes. Preparing for the test

What is a visual evoked potential (VEP)? A visual evoked potential — also known as a visual evoked response (VER) — is a test to measure the electrical activity of the visual system. The test takes about 60 minutes. Preparing for the test

What is a brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP)? A brainstem auditory evoked potential — also known as a brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) — is a test to measure the electrical activity of the auditory system. The test takes about 60 minutes. Preparing for the test

 



Services Provided

What to expect during the EEG test:

  1. You will be taken to a specially equipped room where the EEG will be performed. The room contains a bed and the EEG testing equipment.
  2. The technologist will measure your head and mark locations to ensure proper placement of the electrodes.
  3. The scalp is then prepared by rubbing on a special skin preparation with a cotton-tipped applicator. This helps the electrodes to adhere to the scalp.
  4. Electrodes will be attached to the scalp with either electrode paste or collodion (an ether-based glue).  Electrode paste is odorless and water soluble but does not hold as well as collodion. Collodion is dried with compressed air. The collodion has a strong odor and the compressed air will feel cold on the scalp. Electrode crème is squirted into the electrode after the collodion is applied.
  5. You are ready for your EEG. You just relax in bed and sleep if you can. You might be exposed to flashing lights or be asked to do rapid breathing to induce electrical activity on the EEG.
  6. When the EEG is finished, the electrodes will be removed with acetone, collodion remover or warm water (depending on how they were attached).  Acetone has a strong odor and feels cold. Collodion remover is oily and has a mild odor.

After the EEG: There are no other side effects, except for messiness in the hair. You will want to shampoo normally at the next opportunity. Your physician will have the results of the exam in approximately three weekdays.


What to expect during the SSEP test:

  1. You will be taken to a specially equipped room where the SSEP will be performed. The room contains a reclining chair and the SSEP testing equipment.
  2. The technologist will measure your head and mark locations to ensure proper placement of the electrodes.
  3. The electrode sites are then prepared by rubbing on a special skin preparation with a cotton-tipped applicator. This improves the conductivity at the electrode sites.
  4. Approximately 10 recording electrodes will be attached to the scalp, shoulders and legs. The electrodes are attached with either electrode paste or collodion (an ether-based glue). Electrode paste is odorless and water soluble but does not hold as well as collodion. Collodion is dried with compressed air. The collodion has a strong odor and the compressed air will feel cold on the scalp. Electrode crème is squirted into the electrode after the collodion is applied.  Stimulating electrodes are placed on the wrists and/or ankles.
  5. You are ready for your SSEP. One wrist or ankle at a time is stimulated with electrical pulses. The pulses start at a level so low you won’t feel them. They are gradually increased until a thumb, finger or toe moves in response to the stimulation. Some people find the pulses uncomfortable but most agree it is tolerable. The stimulation will not go higher than you say is OK. We will be very sensitive to your personal tolerance level.
  6. When the SSEP is finished, the electrodes will be removed with acetone, collodion remover, or warm water (depending on how they were attached).  Acetone has a strong odor and feels cold.  Collodion remover is oily and has a mild odor.

After the SSEP: There are no other side effects, except for a slight messiness in the hair. Your physician will have the results of the exam in approximately three weekdays.

 


What to expect during the VEP test:

  1. You will be taken to a specially equipped room where the VEP will be performed. The room contains a reclining chair and the testing equipment.
  2. The technologist will measure your head and mark locations to ensure proper placement of the electrodes
  3. The scalp is then prepared by rubbing on a special skin preparation with a cotton-tipped applicator. This improves the conductivity at the electrode sites.
  4. Six electrodes are attached to the scalp with either electrode paste or collodion (an ether-based glue).  Electrode paste is odorless and water soluble but does not hold as well as collodion. Collodion is dried with compressed air. The collodion has a strong odor and the compressed air will feel cold on the scalp.
  5. You are ready for your VEP. You will be asked to look at a checkerboard pattern as the dark and light checks change places for several minutes at a time. This will be repeated under various conditions. In some cases a strobe light is also used.
  6. When the VEP is finished, the electrodes will be removed with acetone, collodion remover or warm water (depending on how they were attached).  Acetone has a strong odor and feels cold. Collodion remover is oily and has a mild odor.

After the VEP: There are no side effects, except for a slight messiness in the hair. Your physician will have the results of the exam in approximately one week.

 


What to expect during the BAEP test:

  1. You will be taken to a specially equipped room where the BAEP will be performed. The room contains a reclining chair and the testing equipment.
  2. The technologist will measure your head and mark it with a marker. This ensures proper placement of the electrodes.
  3. The scalp is then prepared by rubbing on a special skin preparation with a cotton-tipped applicator. This improves the conductivity at the electrode sites.
  4. Four electrodes are attached to the scalp with either electrode paste or collodion (an ether-based glue).  Electrode paste is odorless and water soluble but does not hold as well as collodion. Collodion is dried with compressed air. The collodion has a strong odor and the compressed air will feel cold on the scalp.
  5. You are ready for your BAEP. You will be asked to wear a pair of headphones and that produce repetitive clicking sounds. You do not have to pay attention and may even sleep during the recording, if you wish.
  6. When the BAEP is finished, the electrodes will be removed with acetone, collodion remover, or warm water, depending on how they were attached.  Acetone has a strong odor and feels cold. Collodion remover is oily and has a mild odor.

After the BAEP: There are no side effects, except for a slight messiness in the hair. Your physician will have the results of the exam in approximately one week.





Contact Name
Rush Epilepsy Center
Contact Phone
(312) 942-5939
Contact E-mail
contact_rush@rush.edu


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