How Can an EEG Help Diagnose Angelman Syndrome?

How Can an EEG Help Diagnose Angelman Syndrome?

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that can be used to diagnose Angelman syndrome and monitor progression of the disease.

What is an EEG?

An EEG is a test that measures electrical activity in the brain using small sensors that are placed on the head for the duration of the test. The sensors consist of 15 to 30 small metal disks, which may be adhered to the head or attached to a cap that is placed over the head.

The test takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete, but putting on and taking off individual sensors also can take about 30 minutes, so it may be wise to set aside a total of two hours for the whole procedure.

During the test, patients usually are asked to sit or lie down with their eyes closed. They may be asked to read, play, or sleep to get a measure of brain activity in response to different stimuli.

How to prepare for an EEG?

Talk with your child’s doctor to find out whether there are any medications that should not be taken on the day of the test. Patients should avoid caffeine prior to an EEG.

Wash hair the night before the test, but don’t use any hair gel, cream, or styling spray.

What do the results mean?

The electrical activity of the brain of patients with Angelman syndrome has several distinctive patterns that are recognizable by physicians. These patterns are distinctive from the patterns caused by brain tumors, brain damage, or epileptic seizures not caused by Angelman syndrome.

There usually are no differences in these patterns between patients who have Angelman syndrome with seizures, and those who have the disorder without seizures.

What happens after the EEG?

A physician will discuss results of the EEG with the patient, and whether changes in medication or therapy are necessary.

There usually are no aftereffects of an EEG, though some patients may feel tired afterward.

 

Last updated: Oct. 2, 2019

***

Angelman Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
Total Posts: 0
Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
×
Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
Latest Posts
  • Angelman syndrome, feeding
  • fun times
  • life expectancy