Electroencephalogram (EEG) Recording

About the Lab:

The Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory at Kennedy Krieger Institute offers routine, extended and overnight EEGs. We are one of the few centers in the region that provides outpatient overnight video EEGs as well as combined sleep studies (PSG) with video EEG. Our technologists have extensive experience working with children with disabilities, and take pride in working with families to ensure the study is recorded properly. As a result, we have a high rate of success recording EEGs, even on children who have behavioral challenges. Our physicians are board-certified in pediatrics, child neurology, neurodevelopmental disabilities, sleep medicine and clinical neurophysiology. They work with the referring doctor to get the most information out of the testing appointment, so that your child's doctor can make the most informed decisions possible.

Additional Information:
For Referring Physicians
For Parents (Information Packets)
Read George's Overnight EEG Story to help prepare your child for what to expect
Read George's Daytime EEG Story to help prepare your child for what to expect

About the EEG:

An EEG, or electroencephalogram, is a recording of the brain's natural electrical activity. Below are answers to questions parents frequently have about the EEG, as well as important instructions for parents and guardians of children who are going to have an EEG.

Instructions to Prepare for the EEG:

Please read these instructions at least one day before your child's EEG.

The Night Before the EEG

  • You may wish to sleep deprive your child. This will help your child sleep during part of the test. It may also make the EEG more likely to detect problems. In some children, sleep deprivation could increase the risk of having a seizure. Guidelines for sleep deprivation.

The Morning of the EEG

  • Please wash your child's hair. Do not use conditioner or other hair products. You could also wash your child's hair the night before. Conditioner and other hair products interfere with the recording. Please also remove any hairstyles that will interfere with attaching wires to the scalp (tight braids and corn rows are usually fine).
  • Please make sure your child does not nap so that he/she will nap during the test.
  • Please avoid sodas, chocolate and caffeine so that your child can fall asleep.
  • Encourage your child to eat, drink and take medications as usual.
  • The EEG is an outpatient procedure, so you will be responsible for all the usual care of your child. Please bring everything you will need to care for your child (e.g., medications, formula, diapers, medical equipment and supplies).

Arriving at Kennedy Krieger

  • Please go to the 707 North Broadway building. This may be a different building than where you usually see your doctor. You may valet park. The guard at the security desk will tell you where to go next.
  • Patients must be accompanied by at least one parent/guardian at all times. Please do not bring other children with you.

In the EEG Lab

  • The technician will come to get you and your child. When you arrive in the lab, you may play a video and relax.
  • First, the technician will clean your child's scalp with a mild abrasive cream on a Q-Tip.
  • The technician will apply the wires with a gel. This does not hurt.
  • Often, EEGs are done to figure out if a certain spell is a seizure or not. Please tell the technician immediately if you child has a typical spell.
  • The technician will ask your child to hyperventilate (breath quickly and deeply) for three minutes and will flash a strobe light. These tests can help show certain things in the EEG.
  • You must stay with your child during the entire EEG.
  • We record audio and video of all patients having EEGs.
  • We do not use sedation or restraints.
  • When the EEG is over, the gel from the wires will usually stay in the hair. Your child will probably need to bathe at home in order to get the gel out of his/her hair.
  • If you are having an overnight EEG, the test usually ends between 5:00 and 6:00 am. Patients and parents will need to depart just after the test is over.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please review the EEG Lab FAQ for answers to the following questions:

  • Why would my doctor order an EEG?
  • Can non-KKI doctors order EEGs at Kennedy Krieger?
  • What types of EEGs does Kennedy Krieger perform?
  • How do I get my child's results?
  • How do I get a copy of my child's EEG?
  • Is the EEG safe?

If you have additional questions, please call Pat Rowe at (443) 923-9150.