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Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Coastal Neurology Services


An EEG is a recording of the electrical activity of the brain. It is a totally painless procedure, which usually takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Small metal discs (electrodes) are attached to the patient’s scalp with an adhesive. The electrodes “pick-up” the electrical activity, which is then transmitted through wires to the electroencephalograph machine where the signals are amplified and are recorded as “wave patterns” onto a graph. This graph tracing is later read and interpreted by your physician.

The EEG is a diagnostic tool used to evaluate seizure disorders, strokes, infections of the central nervous system, head trauma, headaches, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors, and more. 

  • Please shampoo your hair the night before the test.
  • Do not use any styling products the day of your test.
  • Please take all necessary medications as usual and bring a list of these medications with you. 

If you have been scheduled for a routine EEG, please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to register.

Special Instructions for Sleep Deprived EEG

If you have been scheduled for a sleep deprived EEG, you may be required to sleep during a portion of our test. This is sometimes needed to activate abnormal brain activity that may not be seen on the tracing when you are awake.  

  • Adults and children age 8 and up should stay awake from midnight on (the night prior to your test) until you arrive at the hospital for your test.
  • Adults and children age 15 and up-please stay awake for 24 hours prior to your test. You may eat a normal breakfast before 6 am, except no caffeine is allowed (including coffee, tea, soda and chocolate).
  • Children 15 and under are allowed to sleep ONLY from midnight to 4:00 a m. on the night before the study. Please do not allow them to sleep in the car on the way to the appointment.
  • You may eat a normal breakfast. No caffeine is allowed (including coffee, tea, soda and chocolate). 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Contact Us

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

789 Central Avenue

Dover, New Hampshire 03820

Phone: (603) 742-5252

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