- Last Updated on 14 December 2016
Electroencephalography (EEG) and video-electroencephalography (video-EEG) are powerful tools in the diagnosis and characterization of seizures and epilepsy. EEG is a procedure in which approximately 20 electrodes are attached to the scalp with a combination of conductive pastes and adhesives, depending upon the expected duration of the procedure and desired quality of EEG-data to be obtained. The electrodes, in combination with a computer, can detect and display differences in voltage between the electrodes, and display a live tracing of "brain waves". Video-EEG is simply a combination of EEG and time-locked video so that practitioners can compare specific brain-wave patterns to specific behaviors (seizures). The use of video-EEG is critical in the identification of infantile spasms, and as a means to determine response to treatment. For infantile spasms in general, video-EEG assessments should be several hours (or even days) in duration to adequately sample a patient's awake state and various stages of sleep. Many epilepsy syndromes have been found to produce distinct waveforms that can be identified with EEG, and this is especially true of infantile spasms.