EEG is the name commonly used for electroencephalography (e-LEK-tro-en-SEF-uh-LOG-rah-fee). EEG is the most important test for diagnosing epilepsy because it records the electrical activity of the brain. It is safe and painless. Electrodes (small, metal, cup-shaped disks) are attached to your child’s scalp and connected by wires to an electrical box. (The wires can only record electrical activity; they do not deliver any electrical current to your child’s scalp.) The box is then connected to the EEG machine.
The EEG machine records the brain’s electrical activity as a series of squiggles called traces. Each trace corresponds to a different region of the brain. EEGs used to be recorded on paper, but computerized, paperless EEGs are now used more often.
The Pediatric Epilepsy Center at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital utilizes state-of-the-art equipment, including paperless EEGs. The pediatric neurologists who work here have gone through special training in diagnosing and treating epilepsy.