EEG monitoring – accurate and early detection of neurological pathologies

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EEG monitoring – accurate and early detection of neurological pathologies

EEG monitoring is the only way to accurately and early detection of neurological pathologies.

EEG video monitoring is a study, during which a doctor has the opportunity to obtain a long-term simultaneous recording of an electroencephalogram, audio and video data about all types of bioelectrical activity of the human brain. Monitoring is carried out for a long time, therefore, it provides a lot of valuable information and allows you to accurately diagnose practically neurological disorders.

Nighttime EEG monitoring is prescribed in difficult clinical cases, when a routine (short 30-minute) EEG does not allow an accurate diagnosis of pathology. This study is especially relevant in the differential diagnosis of psychogenic and epileptic convulsive states, which cannot be recognized by other methods.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the value of research in children’s practice, when the baby, for some unknown reason, begins to fall asleep poorly or often wakes up at night. In pediatric neurology, EEG recording often becomes the only way to reliably assess complex pathologies on the part of the central nervous system. 

EEG monitoring of night sleep in children is used to diagnose convulsive conditions. Video monitoring determines the consistency of the work of all parts of the brain. Video monitoring of the EEG for a child helps to determine how effective the therapy is. Such a study is also prescribed in the following cases:

  • epilepsy in any form;
  • vegetative dystonia;
  • difficulties with speech development;
  • trauma;
  • neoplasms in the brain;
  • acute disorders of cerebral circulation;
  • a sharp decline in cognitive functions;
  • febrile seizures;
  • conversion attacks.

The safety and high information content of hourly EEG monitoring make it a leader in the early detection of most neurological pathologies. An annual examination will make it possible to timely recognize a serious illness and take timely measures for treatment.

Preparation for the study and limitations for its conduct

Nighttime EEG is a completely safe study. But it will not be carried out if there are open wounds on the scalp or an extensive purulent-inflammatory process. An exacerbation of mental illness can be a relative contraindication. In this case, inappropriate behavior of the patient is possible, but the study can be carried out after preliminary sedation therapy.

At the preparatory stage, tranquilizers and some anticonvulsants are canceled – they can distort the results of the examination. The rest of the preparation recommendations are as follows:

  • refusal to take psychostimulants (tea, coffee, alcohol) on the eve of the examination;
  • the head must be clean, the use of cosmetics is not allowed;
  • remove all metal jewelry from the body.

The study is often scheduled during sleep. In this case, the patient is advised to reduce the duration of sleep at home the day before. Before the test, the doctor may prescribe a mild sedative to help the patient sleep soundly throughout the test. This approach is used in difficult diagnostic cases, allowing to identify pathological activity of the brain.

Where is this diagnosis carried out?

Today, special standards for EEG sleep have been developed. Their need is dictated by a number of conditions of this study:

  • experienced doctors with appropriate professional training;
  • high-tech equipment;
  • good shielding from mains or atmospheric interference, which can distort the result.

What is research?

Night EEG video monitoring, in contrast to the standard EEG, allows the most accurate determination of the form of epilepsy. Night monitoring can last up to 11 hours, and the highly sensitive equipment will accurately record all the parameters of the brain.

During the study, in addition to recording the electrical activity of the brain, involuntary movements of the eyeballs, short-term twitching will be taken into account. The analysis of such complex data significantly improves the diagnostic accuracy. Long-term video monitoring with sleep necessarily begins at the time the patient is awake.

An office with good sound insulation is chosen as the place for the study. In it, the patient gets the opportunity to sleep peacefully under the constant “supervision” of audio-video equipment. In some clinics, medical personnel are present in the office, but more often communication with the subject is maintained using equipment – this allows the patient to relax and fall asleep more quickly.

Before the start of the study, a special cap with built-in electrodes is put on the patient’s head, additional electrodes are attached (ECG sensor to the heart area, possibly additional myographic sensors). The fixation of indicators of electrical activity is carried out by a special device that receives and multiplies the patient’s electrical impulses. Based on this data, an activity graph is drawn up, which gives the doctor a lot of useful information.

There are several options for such a study. In addition to long-term monitoring, methods with “provocation” of attacks can be used. For this, standard tests are prescribed – hyperventilation , rhythmic photostimulation , sleep deprivation. In some cases, all previously prescribed anticonvulsants are canceled. Such a diagnosis helps in cases with infrequent seizures of epilepsy, when it is difficult to fix the seizure in other ways.

The EEG of a child’s sleep allows you to determine the exact rhythm of the brain waves. It is customary to distinguish 4 types of waves:

  • Beta waves are fast and low-amplitude oscillations. 
  • Alpha waves are recorded at the moment of rest / relaxation. 
  • Theta waves – correspond to the moment of falling asleep. 
  • Delta waves – appear at the time of deep sleep. 

When decoding the data obtained during the EEG monitoring, the specialist takes into account all the data obtained using the equipment. Normally, the activity of both hemispheres during the study will be symmetrical, without bursts of pathological electrical impulses.

Based on the characteristic signs, a specialist can conclude about the presence of a particular pathology:

  • “Excess” beta waves may indicate the intake of a large dose of tranquilizers / sedatives;
  • drug use is generated by delta waves;
  • bursts of pathological activity or a sharp drop in wave amplitude may indicate the presence of tumors, epilepsy or stroke;
  • violation of metabolic processes in the tissues of the brain or the presence of an infectious process in it lead to a pronounced difference in activity in its various departments.

Despite the fact that the qualification of a specialist is important when decoding the data obtained, the risk of medical error during diagnosis is minimal – the data recorded by the equipment is too characteristic.

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