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An EEG records the electrical activity of the brain. Highly sensitive monitoring equipment records the activity through electrodes that are placed at measured intervals on a patient's scalp.
EEGs assist physicians in the diagnosis of a variety of neurological problems, from headaches and dizziness to seizure disorders, strokes, and degenerative brain disease. The EEG is also used to look for organic causes of psychiatric symptoms and disabilities in children, and can assist physicians in determining irreversible brain death.
Sometimes, physicians also want to observe brain patterns that occur during sleep. For sleep tests, the patient may be asked to stay awake most of the night prior to the EEG appointment or in some cases may be given a mild sedative.
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