What Medical Professionals Typically Interpret an EEG?


Quick Answer

Neurologists, who are physicians trained to diagnose and treat nervous system disorders, typically interpret the results of an electroencephalogram, according to WebMD. An EEG technologist performs the test, which takes one to two hours. An EEG is a procedure used to detect electrical activity in the brain, notes Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. It is used to diagnose disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, narcolepsy and brain cancer.

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Full Answer

Neurologists generally interpret 100 pages of results from the EEG to get a clear picture of a patient's brain function. The physician uses the shapes of the brain waves, any bursts of energy and responses to different stimuli to determine a diagnosis, states Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. For example, rapid spiking waves appear on an EEG when a patient has an epileptic seizure, while slow EEG waves can suggest a brain tumor or stroke. A neurologist may also order an EEG to examine previous head trauma, brain damage or to monitor blood flow during surgery.

During an EEG, patients relax with their eyes closed while electrodes attached to the head record the brain waves, explains WebMD. The EEG technologist may ask the patient to breathe deeply and rapidly, or to go to sleep. As part of the test, patients may receive stroboscopic stimulation by looking at a strobe.

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