Patient Resources


An electroencephalogram (EEG) helps analyze brain wave function. Electrodes/probes placed on the scalp to record the brain’s electrical impulses.  


How do I prepare for EEG                                  (Electro-EncephaloGram)? 


• Discuss any medicines you are taking with your doctor prior to your procedure. 

• Continue to take any anticonvulsant medications, you have been prescribed 

(unless your doctor specifically tells you otherwise). 

• Wash your hair the night before the test. 

• Do not use hair cream, oils, or spray. 

• No caffeinated drink or chocolate at least two hours before the test. 


What happens during the EEG? 


  • You lay down on the examining table or bed while about 31 to 35 electrodes are attached to your scalp and around face first with mild-abrasive fluid (NuPrep) and then hypo-allergic sticky conductive paste (Ten20)

  • The paste is water washable and you may need to wash hairs after the test. 

  • It is advised that you bring a hat or bandana or anything to cover your head as the hairstyle will be ruined and the scalp will feel sticky. 

  • You are asked to relax and lay first with your eyes open, then closed. 

  • You might be asked to breathe deeply and rapidly, and a white strobe lamp will be flashed at 1 Hz to the 60Hz frequency it predetermined interval. Both of these activities produce changes in brain-wave patterns. 

  • EEG procedure is a video procedure and we will record video the entire time during the test for better interpretation of brain waves and correlate brain activity with physical movements. 


Routine EEG instructions 


  • Washed and clean hair. 

  • No makeup. 

  • No coffee, tea or chocolates at least two hours before. 

  • Please keep the electronic device in silent mode. 

  • Relaxation and sleep are desired for the optimum result of the test, so, please do not bring young kids, if possible. 

  • If you are taking medications, continue all medicines as required. 


Sleep-Deprived EEG instructions                                  (For Patients above Age 10)


Sleep deprivation (having not enough sleep) and coming in a sleepy state during the test are important in helping us gain as much information as possible from the EEG.


  • Follow all of the above instructions for routine EEG Do not sleep for at least 24 hours prior to the test.         

  • Arrange to have somebody drive you to and from the test center. 


For Pediatric ( from 0 to 6 years) and developmentally delayed patients EEG


There can be anxiety and emotions in both kids and parents if they are presenting for the test the first time. With the help and cooperation from parents, we can get through the test and it is easier than it sounds.


You can bring anything for example iPad, cell phone to watch videos and play games, blankets, toys, pacifiers.

Mother can feed her baby during the test including breastfeeding. please remember that we record video during the test and will NOT be turned off while breastfeeding.


Instructions for All Children


  • Do NOT give any sedatives (sleeping medicine) within 24 hours of the test.

  • Continue giving all other medicines (unless otherwise advised by your child’s doctor or nurse).

  • Do not give your child caffeine or sugar (including sodas, chocolate or candy) within 12 hours of the test.

  • Before arriving for the test, wash and dry your child’s hair. Do not use styling gels, oils or other products.

  • Try to keep your child awake on the way to the clinic.

Duration of sleep loss in the pediatric Sleep Deprived EEG.


Nap-Deprived EEG (Age 3 and younger)


  • On the night before your appointment, keep your child up one hour past normal bedtime, and wake your child (and avoid naps) three to four hours before your appointment time.


Sleep-Deprived EEG (Age 4 to 9 years)


On the night before your appointment, keep your child up one hour past normal bedtime, and have your child sleep four to five fewer hours than usual.


EMG is Electro-Myography.

NCS is a Nerve Conduction Study.


An EMG test measures the electrical activity of your muscles at rest and when you tighten them.

It helps to find diseases that damage muscles or nerves or to find why you cannot move your muscles (paralysis), why they feel weak, or why they twitch.


Nerve conduction studies (NCS) measure the integrity of the nerves and abilities to send and/or to receive electrical signals.

A nerve conduction studies to find damage to the nerves that lead from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body (peripheral nervous system), and often used to help find nerve disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.


EMG and nerve conduction studies are often we perform together, and Nerve conduction precedes EMG


How to prepare?


You may need the list of all medications and supplements as some medicines can interfere with the test result. You may need to stop taking some medicines before you have this test. If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, be sure to talk to your doctor.


If you have a pacemaker or any medical device installed, you need to tell your doctor.


Wear loose-fitting clothing, especially extremities. It is advisable to keep the upper arms and legs exposed or easy to present for the test.


Keep skin clean and free of sprays, oils, creams, and lotions.

What do you expect?


For an NCS and EMG, you may be asked to sign a consent form. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about the need for the test, its risks.




It depends on the complexity of the test, between 20 min to 90 minutes.


For nerve conduction studies:

The technologist will attach two types of electrodes to your skin. One type of electrode is placed over a nerve and will give the nerve an electrical pulse. The other type of electrode is placed over the muscle that the nerve controls. It will record how long it takes the muscle to react to the electrical pulse. 

You will feel the electrical pulses. They are small shocks and are safe.

For an EMG:

Your doctor will insert a sterile single-use needle electrode into a muscle. This needle will record the electrical activity while the muscle is at rest. 


You may feel a quick, sharp pain when the doctor inserts needle electrode into a muscle.


Your doctor will ask you to tighten the same muscle slowly and steadily while we record the electrical activity. Your doctor may move the electrode to a different area of the muscle or a different muscle.

What to expect after the test?

After an EMG, you may be sore and have a tingling feeling in your muscles for up to 2 days. You may have small bruises or swelling at the needle site.


If the test areas are painful, please apply ice or a cold pack on the field for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Take over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). You can leave right away and get back to your usual activities immediately.


When should you call for help?


If pain from an EMG test site gets worse or swelling, tenderness, or pus at any of the needle sites, you should visit the family doctor immediately.

Printable EEG Test instruction Sheet