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24 hour Ambulatory EEG

What is a 24 hour Ambulatory EEG

An ambulatory EEG is a recording of the electrical signals from your brain made over 24 hours. An ambulaotory EEG is used to help the doctor in diagnosing your condition.  You will be given two appointments, one day apart.  The first will be to fit the equipment to you; the second appointment will be to remove the equipment from you.

How is it performed?

A physiologist will measure your head.  Up to 23 leads are then attached to your scalp using a special type of glue.  A bandage may be placed around your head to keep the leads in place. Your heartbeat will also be recorded by attaching two leads to your shoulders. It will take approximately 30-45 minutes to attach the leads to you. The leads are plugged into a small recording device that you will take home with you. The device will be recording your electro-encephalogram (EEG) for all the time you are wearing it.  You will not feel anything.  You will need to return to the department the following day to have the leads removed. 

You will be given a diary to fill in whilst you are wearing the recorder and you need to record your activities e.g. when you are eating, when you are relaxing/watching TV, when you are active and when you go to bed. If you experience any of your attacks you must write this down. There is an event button on the recorder which you will be shown, this needs to be pressed either by you or by someone with you if you have an attack. This marks the recording so we can identify the part of the recording where the attack occurred. Whilst wearing the recorder you will not be able to have a bath or shower or go swimming.

How do I prepare for the test?

Please wash your hair either the same day or the evening before the test, and ensure that your hair is dry, clean and free from hairspray and oil. If you are taking medication please continue to take it and bring a list of your medication with you. Continue to eat meals as normal. There are no side effects from this test.

How long will I have to wait?

You have been given a specific appointment time and patients are usually seen on time. It is important that you arrive on time. Please allow plenty of time for parking. Your first visit will take between 60-90 minutes. You will need to return the following day to have the device removed and this will take up to 1 hour. We will remove the glue from your hair but you will need to wash your hair to remove any residual paste.


When will I get the results?

The results are sent to the doctor that referred you for the test and are usually available within 2 weeks. If you have any concerns or questions please speak to a Clinical Physiologist on the number below.