EEG during pregnancy
Electroencephalography (EEG) is an innovative method for studying the function of the brain, which is based on the registration of electrical impulses emanating from its individual zones. Can an EEG be done during pregnancy? EEG is an absolutely safe study that has no contraindications.
Neurophysiologists perform electroencephalography using modern equipment from European manufacturers. EEG for pregnant women is done without the use of functional tests. The decoding of the research results is carried out using a computer program and manually. Double analysis of the electroencephalogram allows you to make an accurate conclusion. EEG results are recorded on electronic media and printed on paper tape.
Indications for EEG for pregnant women
In order to perform an EEG in accordance with European standards, the study of pregnant women is carried out in a laboratory isolated from external influences. Due to the presence of comfortable conditions, patients during the study feel calm, fall asleep easily, which improves the quality of the study.
Pregnancy is not only a joy for the expectant mother, but also a crucial period in her life. Carrying a baby for nine months increases the load on all organs and systems of a woman. Often, under the influence of the constantly changing level and ratio of hormones during pregnancy, various diseases, including neurological ones, are aggravated.
EEG for pregnant gynecologists prescribe:
- in the presence of complaints of frequent severe headaches;
- women who, on the eve of conception, received a head injury or underwent neurosurgery;
- patients with previously diagnosed epilepsy or registered with a psychiatrist.
EEG during pregnancy is necessary in order to assess brain activity, the work of the nervous system and, if necessary, select an effective, safe therapy. Neurologists select medications for pregnant women that do not affect the course of pregnancy and do not cause congenital malformations of the fetus. The research is carried out by neurologists-neurophysiologists, candidates of medical sciences at a convenient time for a woman. Doctors of functional diagnostics will answer all questions of interest to a pregnant woman.
EEG during pregnancy is performed in the presence of the following indications:
- insomnia, disturbed sleep quality;
- convulsions of pregnant women;
- endocrine diseases;
- revealed during ultrasound examination of the pathology of the vessels of the head and neck;
- vegetative-vascular dysfunction;
- recurring fainting;
- increased fatigue;
- panic attacks;
- diencephalic crises.
An EEG study of a woman can take place in any trimester of pregnancy. The study is temporarily not performed in case of acute respiratory viral infections, the presence of a disease or damage to the integrity of the scalp. The study is carried out after the recovery of the pregnant patient.
Preparing pregnant women for EEG
The day before the EEG, coffee should be excluded from the diet, since caffeine can affect the study results. Do not apply hairspray, masks, oils, conditioners to your hair. They disrupt the tightness of the contact of the electrodes with the scalp. Don’t do your hair. Earrings, piercings, and other metal jewelry should be removed prior to examination.
EEG technique during pregnancy
To study the activity of the brain during an EEG, electrodes are used, which are fixed on the head. Their inner surface is lubricated with gel. An indifferent electrode is attached to the earlobe. The read out potentials of the brain are amplified by a special device, transmitted to the monitor and recorded on the hard disk. The electroencephalogram is then transferred to mobile storage media and printed on paper tape. EEG decoding is carried out within 5-7 working days.
If the information obtained during the EEG is not enough to make a definitive conclusion, the doctor of functional diagnostics may suggest recording an EEG during daytime or nighttime sleep. In this case, during the study, the patient is in a comfortable ward.
Characteristics of the main parameters of the EEG
EEG is based on the following concepts:
- average vibration frequency;
- their maximum amplitude and phase;
- estimation of the difference between the curves on different channels and their temporal dynamics.
EEG is recorded between two points of the scalp using one of two methods: bipolar or monopolar. When using the bipolar technique, the difference between two active electrodes, which are located at the electrically active points of the scalp. In a monopolar examination, electrodes are placed at different points on the head.
The dominant rhythm of the human EEG at rest is the alpha rhythm. It is closely related to the mechanisms of perception and memory. The role of the alpha rhythm is a kind of functional stabilization of the state of the brain and ensuring readiness to respond.
At rest, other components are also observed on the EEG. The delta rhythm is absent in healthy people at rest; the fourth stage of sleep is recorded. Theta rhythm is closely related to mental and emotional stress. During mental work, both theta and delta activity increase.
The transition from a state of rest to tension is accompanied by a desynchronization reaction. Its main component is high-frequency beta activity. Mental work is accompanied by an increase in the power of the beta rhythm. The second important characteristic of the electrical potentials of the brain is the amplitude of the oscillations. It is closely related to their frequency.
An EEG pattern is called a “pattern”. It differs in individual people in appearance and individual characteristics. In pregnant women, an individual-specific pattern is normally recorded, which has developed by the age of 15-18. Changes in the pattern may be evidence of pathology.
EEG decoding in pregnant women
When decoding the EEG for pregnant women, the doctor of functional diagnostics pays attention precisely to the rhythms of the brain. The following indicators are considered to be the norm:
- predominance of alpha and beta waves in the waking state;
- the same nature of electrical activity in both hemispheres of the brain;
- absence of abnormal bursts of electrical activity.
During pregnancy, abnormalities associated with imbalance of hormones may be observed on the EEG. Sudden bursts of brain activity or slowing down of rhythms can be signs of neoplasms, trauma, or epilepsy. The nature of the electrical activity of the brain in the hemispheres varies considerably. Changes in activity that are observed simultaneously in different parts of the brain can be signs of infectious diseases, metabolic disorders, or poisoning. Delta waves, inherent in deep sleep, with some injuries or brain lesions, they can be observed in awake people. They have a frequency range of 1 to 4 Hz. It cannot be zero, since such a state means the death of the brain.
Take an EEG by calling. Experienced doctors of functional diagnostics take into account the physiological characteristics of the body of pregnant women when decoding the results of the study. Neurologists-neurophysiologists not only conduct research in accordance with European recommendations, but also advise patients and give recommendations on the further management of pregnancy.