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What Conditions are Diagnosed with an EEG?

Published 6/14/2023

Have you undergone an EEG or electroencephalogram recently and wondered what conditions it helps diagnose? Choosing a reputable EEG monitoring company proves essential for gaining the most accurate analysis and insights from your results.

EEG represents a non-invasive way to peek inside your brain's electrical activity. For over 90 years, the medical community has used EEG to help diagnose and monitor everything from epilepsy to dementia.

Epilepsy and Seizures

Of all EEG applications, diagnosing epilepsy and seizure disorders remains by far the most well-known. Epilepsy stems from disruptions in the brain's electrical activity, resulting in seizures. 

An epileptic seizure occurs when there are abnormal bursts of neurons firing together. These bursts generate disruptive electrical storms that can cause symptoms from blackouts to convulsions.

By placing electrodes on a patient's scalp during an EEG, neurologists can record brain wave patterns to spot these abnormal bursts and spikes that signal a seizure. Certain seizure types also display characteristic wave patterns that allow neurologists to determine the epilepsy classification for developing a tailored treatment plan. 

Long-term EEG monitoring in a hospital's epilepsy unit helps capture activity during seizures to illuminate their underlying causes for a precise diagnosis and prognosis.

Head Injuries and Concussions 

Head injuries and concussions also benefit from evaluation by EEG. Following a head injury or concussion, EEG may detect abnormal brain wave patterns indicating the severity of the trauma and the likelihood of long-term effects. 

Repeating EEG over time provides a window into how well the brain is recovering by monitoring when wave patterns start normalizing. Concussions can disrupt the brain's neural networks, with symptoms emerging hours or days after the injury. 

An initial EEG after a suspected concussion may appear normal, even when symptoms arise later. When those delayed symptoms surface, EEG can detect the underlying network disruption and allow physicians to determine appropriate referrals for rehabilitation and treatment.

Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

Dementia and Alzheimer's represent another set of conditions where EEG contributes to diagnosis and monitoring progression. Alzheimer's disease stems from irreversible changes in the brain that impair memory, thought, and language. 

By measuring the brain's electrical rhythms, EEG may detect these changes even when symptoms remain subtle. Specific EEG patterns have been associated with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia.

With new algorithms for quantitative EEG and signal processing, machine learning tools can enhance the detection of patterns linked to Alzheimer's and dementia. By analyzing changes in EEG data over time, these tools may help provide earlier or more accurate diagnoses.

Sleep Disorders

EEG also plays a central role in diagnosing and understanding sleep disorders. By monitoring brain wave activity, breathing, and muscle movements during sleep, EEG can detect conditions like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, and insomnia.

Sleep apnea, for example, causes dropped blood oxygen levels that produce characteristic changes on EEG. Restless leg syndrome generates limb movements during sleep, visible on EEG. 

Narcolepsy may reduce time spent in REM sleep, detectable by EEG measurements of sleep stages. Insomnia impacts sleep efficiency and quality, which shows through EEG's window into your brain's activity at night.

ADHD and Autism

EEG provides supplemental data on brain function that aids determination and treatment planning. Specific EEG patterns have been linked to ADHD or autism and may help confirm a diagnosis or determine severity.

In ADHD, EEG may detect abnormal theta wave patterns, especially during periods of concentration or focus. Excess theta wave activity can signal impaired attention networks in the brain. 

Autism sometimes produces atypical brain connectivity and synchronization visible on EEG. Evaluating a patient's EEG response to stimuli like sounds, sights, or touch can reveal differences in sensory processing and social cognition circuits.

EEG monitoring allows physicians to determine how medications or therapies might correct brain network disruptions. Improved neural connectivity and wave patterns may indicate positive treatment effects, helping guide adjustments to maximize outcomes. Ongoing EEG also monitors how neural functions change with age and life skills development.

Strokes and Brain Aneurysms

During a stroke, EEG may detect abnormal brain wave patterns indicating the area of the brain impacted before other tests reveal anatomical changes or damage. This early insight enables swift treatment to minimize loss of function.

For high-risk patients or following a resolved stroke or aneurysm, EEG provides a window into changes in brain activity that could signal a recurrence. Repeating EEG allows physicians to monitor for dangerous developments and guide interventions before new symptoms arise.

Though imaging reveals brain structures, only EEG can measure how well neural connections and functions recover. Improvements in brain wave patterns and synchronization between hemispheres point to rehabilitation progress and restoration of communication networks. 

Ongoing EEG monitoring proves particularly useful for complex cases or patients prone to multiple strokes and allows optimization of long-term care and prevention strategies for this potentially devastating condition.

 

Choose a Leading EEG Monitoring Company

As evident, EEG monitoring services provide an indispensable tool for diagnosing and managing diverse brain conditions. By measuring your brain's electrical rhythms and responses, experienced EEG technicians and neurologists can detect abnormalities indicating epilepsy, dementia, sleep disorders, or head trauma's effects. 

Choosing an EEG monitoring service with highly trained staff and quantitative EEG capabilities allows the most accurate analysis to guide treatment. Neurotech is one of the leading EEG monitoring companies with innovative, fast, and accurate EEG testing. To learn more about Neurotech EEG, contact us here or call 866-374-7648.