During a standard EEG test, patients are asked to either lie still for upwards of an hour or the test is conducted while the patient is sleeping. If your doctor decides that they need an even better understanding of your brain’s activity and how it may be affecting you throughout the day, they may discuss conducting an ambulatory EEG test.
An ambulatory EEG test simply means that you will be able to move and go about your day while the testing takes place. During a normal EEG test, the small metal electrodes are placed along the scalp, and as you lie still, they take their recordings. During an ambulatory EEG test, we will take the electrodes and place them along your scalp while you are in our office. Once the electrodes are placed, we use bandages or other methods to secure the sensors to your head. This way, you will be able to move around all day without fear of the sensors falling out of place.
During the ambulatory EEG, your doctor will most likely ask you to keep a diary of what you are doing throughout the day. The recording of brain activity would not be as helpful without the doctor knowing what you were doing when things happened. Ambulatory EEG tests generally last between 24 to 72 hours, depending on your doctor’s wishes. During this time, the electrodes will be sending all of the information into a data recording device.
Once the test is complete, you will return to the office for us to remove the sensors and collect the data then your doctor will analyze the data and recommend the best treatment plan for you.