About EEG's

What is an EEG?

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a recording of electrical brain wave activity from wires placed on the scalp. This allows doctors to observe brainwave activity. 

This test can be conducted for various lengths of time, ranging from a 40-minute study to 3 consecutive days (72 hours). The longer studies are done at Mat Su Regional Hospital under the watchful eyes of a technologist and RNs around the clock.

Instructions for everyone getting a EEG short study

  • Please make sure your hair is clean and dry. Do not use any spray, lotion or oil in your hair.
  • Please do not wear any make-up to the appointment
  • You may eat, drink and take prescribed medications as usual. Avoid caffeine.
  • If the study is for a child, you may bring their favorite toy, blanket, or stuffed animal.
  • You do not need to arrive early for this appointment.
  • We recommend no more than 4 hours of sleep the night before your EEG appointment. You should be sleep deprived for this test to enhance falling asleep. The test is accurate if you are able to sleep during the EEG recording.
  • Please allow one hour and thirty minutes for this appointment.

How is it performed?

  • These tests are done at Alaska Brain Center.
  • Patients relax in a recliner during the testing.
  • An EEG technician prepares small spots  on your head by scrubbing the areas with exfoliating gel.
  • About 27 electrode disks are placed onto your head and held in place with a water-soluble paste.
  • Your brain waves are typically recorded for 41 minutes.
  • The electrodes are removed at the end of the test and you may leave.
  • After the test, your hair will be sticky and messy and you will probably want to wash it as soon as you get home; or you are welcome to bring shampoo to wash your hair in the sink.  
  • There are no special requirements after the test.

Instructions for everyone getting a Video EEG (the long study)

  • Please arrive at the hospital 20 minutes prior to your appointment time to complete registration. This is an elective admission to the hospital for an extended EEG with a typical duration of 3 days. 
  • You need to continue to take your medications prior to admission. However, please do NOT take your seizure medication the morning of admission, unless directed to do so otherwise by Dr. Sponsler or a nurse.
  • Please bring all of your current medications, in their original bottles.
  • In order to make your hospital stay more comfortable you may bring in personal items. For example: toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant, reading materials, puzzles, crafts or other quiet activities to help pass the time.
  • You may wear your own clothing, but shirts or tops must button or zip up the front of the garment.
  • Shampoo your hair at home before coming to the hospital, but do not use any styling products (gels, hairspray, etc.), as they will interfere with the scalp electrodes used for your test.
  • You will be staying in a private room and may have visitors during your stay. Regular hospital visiting hours are from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Family members may stay beyond these hours.