Video EEG Test: Purpose, Preparation, Limitations, Risks
A video electroencephalograph (EEG Test) is a diagnostic procedure to record brainwaves in patients with epilepsy. The main purpose of a video electroencephalograph is to observe what is happening when you have a seizure and associate the picture to what the EEG records at the same time. Sometimes, the sounds are also recorded to understand whether a person talks or makes sound during an event. By recording all this, doctors can easily determine that if the seizure or event was related to the electrical activity of the brain.
A video EEG Test can be helpful in revealing the following facts:
- Whether the seizures with unusual features are epilepsy or not
- Identifying the type of seizures
- Locating the region where the seizures begin
Where is a video electroencephalography (EEG Test) done?
Generally, a video electroencephalography (EEG) test is carried out in a hospital setup wherein the seizures can be monitored in the safest way possible.
- Occurrence of seizures is highly unpredictable, so doctors lower the doses of seizure medications in the hospital setup which in turn, provokes the seizures so that they can be recorded.
- The length of the testing varies from a few days to a week depending on various factors like the type of seizures, the frequency of their occurrence and reasons for monitoring. **Video EEG can also be performed at home or in the EEG lab.
- A person suffering from frequent seizures can be monitored easily in the EEG labs over a number of hours during the day.
- The EEG test can also be conducted at home provided that the hospital/centre can send the video equipment with the technician handling the ambulatory EEG monitoring. The person’s activity and seizures during his/her routine daily activities awake and even during sleep can be recorded.
- Due to safety reasons, it is recommended to perform the EEG tests in a hospital set-up as the testing needs the dosage of the seizure medicines to be lowered.
How to prepare for the video EEG test?
Here are a few instructions which a patient must follow while undergoing the EEG test:
- Avoid using hair oil and hairsprays before the test.
- Wash hair thoroughly to remove any unwanted substances which can hinder the test results.
- Consult the doctor before taking regular medicines.
The doctor may reduce the dose of the antiepileptic drugs to induce the chances of seizure episodes during the monitoring period.
What happens during the video electroencephalograph (EEG) test?
- A person needs to be admitted to the hospital on the epilepsy monitoring unit wherein the EEG, audio and video recording can be done.
- Thereafter, a doctor or technician will place the electrode on the scalp of the patient by using a special conductive gel called collodion.
- The electrodes are generally covered with a cap or a gauze dressing.
- These electrodes are connected to a special EEG unit placed nearby by using a cord or sometimes a wireless system may be used in the monitoring room.
- Doctors and technician will also make sure whether the electrodes placed over the head are working properly or not.
- The patient’s activity is continuously recorded by the camera mounted on the wall. This camera may be turned off when privacy is required by the patient.
- During the test, patients are free to move either on their own or with assistance as per their health status.
- Because of the safety concerns involved, some kind of restraint may be required for a few patients as the activities during seizures are unpredictable especially when the antiepileptic medications are withdrawn.
- Every day-to-day activity of the patients which can trigger the seizures is recorded. The patient is also provided with a buzzer so that the attendant can use it on the onset of seizures.
- Doctors may also use certain techniques to induce a seizure episode during the monitoring (for the diagnosis and treatment, it becomes necessary to induce seizures).
The audio and video of the EEG can be viewed on the monitor simultaneously. Any abnormal activity can be easily identified using the computer detection software. This software reduces the quantity of the raw material to be studied in the EEG data and a technician can easily analyse and compile the data. The diagnosis and the treatment are based on the findings of the video EEG.
Limitations & Risks of the video EEG Test
Here are some of the limitations of the video EEG Test:
- Error while interpreting the EEG data can lead to misdiagnosis.
- Activity may not be seen in EEG in case of certain types of partial seizures.
- Sometimes, the video EEG may not provide a conclusive diagnosis.
- Exposure to various types of potential risks for a patient while withdrawing the antiepileptic drugs or techniques to induce seizures as are follows:
◦ If the status epilepticus or uncontrollable seizure activity lasts up to 30 minutes.
◦ Seizure-related trauma like injuries, fractures or falls.
◦ Psychosis resulting from the seizure episodes.
Best doctors or neurosurgeons in Ghaziabad & Delhi NCR for video EEG Test
Dr. Atul Gupta is one of the top experts with 29 years of experience in performing various surgeries like spine surgery, cerebrovascular, epilepsy, brain tumour surgeries, etc. He has performed over 2000 surgeries till date.
Dr. Puneet Malik has an experience of more than 10 years in the field of neurosurgery having performed a large number of complex brain and spinal cord surgeries. He is an expert in treating patients with headaches, pain in the neck & back, feeling of sensation in upper or lower limbs, epilepsy or fits, paralysis or numbness of the limbs, deformity in face shape, etc.