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The Ottawa Hospital Laboratory for electroencephalography (EEG)

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test to detect electrical activity in your brain. It uses small, metal cup-like discs attached to your scalp. Your brain cells communicate via electrical impulses, and generate very weak electrical signals. These signals are active all the time, even when you are sleeping. This activity shows up as “wavy lines” and that record is called an EEG.

An EEG is one of the main diagnostic tests for epilepsy. An EEG can also play a role in diagnosing other brain disorders.

The Ottawa Hospital has a full range of EEG studies available, including:

Routine EEG studies and sleep deprived EEG studies: These studies tend to last up to 30 minutes and include video recording.

Ambulatory video EEG studies: These studies can last up to four hours and include video recording. The recording allows us to record your brain activity and match it to your movements and behavior to try and help us identify where your seizures may be coming from. Recording for longer than a routine EEG study also means that we have more chances to capture if something unusual takes place.

Critical care video EEG studies: These are inpatient studies performed on critically ill patients who are admitted to the hospital. They are usually not available to the public.

If you have questions or concerns about your upcoming EEG, please feel free to contact the EEG laboratory, open Monday to Friday from 8 to 4 p.m., at 613 798 5555 ext 14324.

More information

Information about my upcoming EEG

Routine EEGs are performed at either Civic or General campuses. Ambulatory and critical care EEGs are performed exclusively at the Civic Campus

Last updated on: February 1st, 2021