The Difference Between a Routine and Ambulatory EEG
Routine EEGs are used to detect a variety of brain-associated disorders and conditions. However, Routine EEGs usually only last up to a maximum of 60 minutes, which can be insufficient for detecting certain conditions. Ambulatory EEGs are longer term measurements of your brain, and can be done at home or in a hospital depending on the discretion of your doctor.
About Routine EEGs
An Electroencephalography, commonly known as an EEG, is the measuring and detection of electrical brainwaves. These brainwave observations can diagnose a variety of conditions ranging from seizures to comas to epilepsy.
The EEG procedure itself usually takes about 60 minutes and patients are free of pain or discomfort. A technician will measure and mark the head of the patient before applying metal discs all over your scalp. These discs are coated with a sticky adhesive to keep them in place. Depending on the patient, an elastic cap might also be placed on his or her head.
About Ambulatory EEGs
Most commonly, Ambulatory EEGs are used when a doctor is looking to monitor activity when a seizure is occurring. These procedures can confirm or dismiss whether epilepsy waves are causing the patient’s seizures.
Similar to a Routine EEG, Ambulatory EEG attaches wires to the patient’s scalp to measure their electrical brainwaves. However, instead of attaching to a larger machine, the wires attach to a smaller device (closer to the size of a brick), which the patient can wear around without interfering with normal everyday activity. Usually, this procedure lasts for either 24, 48, or 72 hours.
Ambulatory EEGs are particularly helpful when patients cannot identify their own seizures (people with mental retardation, encephalopathy, and other similar conditions are often unaware of their seizures), or during nocturnal hours when the patient is asleep.
Do I Need an EEG?
EEGs can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions and disorders that might be taking place in your brain. These include brain tumors, epilepsy, sleep disorders, dementia, and more. Dr. Sanjeev Garg at DSP Health System in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania is ready to discuss any type of issues that might be related to a brain disorder.
Early diagnosis with the help of an EEG is often the best chance for a positive outcome for patients with neurological disorders, so contact us immediately if you are having trouble sleeping, memory issues, seizures, or any other symptom that might be related to a neurological issue.