An EEG stands for an electroencephalogram, which is a recording of brain activity. During an EEG test, small metal sensors (electrodes) are attached to the scalp. Brains cells are constantly communicating with one another through electrical signals, and are active all the time. The electrodes measure and transmit the electrical signals which are produced as brain cells send messages to each other. These electrical signals are recorded by a machine, where the brain activity is shown as a series of wavy lines.
The EEG recording can then be examined by a doctor in order to see if there is anything unusual or abnormal. An EEG may be used to help diagnose and monitor various brain conditions and disorders. It can also help with identifying the cause of certain symptoms, such as seizures or memory problems. An EEG is one of the key diagnostic tests for detecting and investigating epilepsy, a condition which causes repeated seizures.
Essentially, an EEG determines changes in brain activity that might be useful in identifying any unusual or abnormal symptoms that could be indicative of an issue, which is why it can be used to diagnose and investigate a broad range of problems. These might include a brain tumour, brain dysfunction from a variety of causes, brain trauma from head injury, inflammation of the brain, stroke or mood and sleep disorders.