Updated: Mar 7
You may have heard of the wonderful exam that tests your brain waves. But, what does it actually do? How has it evolved to become one of the leading technologies in modern medicine?
This article will provide insight into the history of the EEG, key features of an EEG, and the impact it has had as a medical innovation.
The Development of the Electroencephalogram
In 1929, when the medical revolution was at its peak, Hans Berger published his research on the ability to monitor brain and psychological activity. This was a historical breakthrough considering the fact that they did not have other neurotechnologies like the EP, CT, MRI, and others. This discovery led to others, similar to how Galvani found biological electricity leading to the development of batteries by Volta. There is a significant interrelationship between scientific innovations and medical advancements.
All of these events led to the discovery of the cerebral surface and localization by a vast amount of neurologists. Based on previous research, Hans conducted the first application of the EEG in 1924 during a neurological surgery on a young boy. This was a milestone in neurology and its applications.
This discovery impacted people with all forms of neurological disorders because they were able to begin monitoring the pathology and the manifestation of the disorders.
Mitigating Seizures and Advancing Research
The nature of seizures was comp;letly unknown prior to the development of the electroencephalogram (EEG). Mainly because there wasn’t the possibility of brain imaging, patients who experienced seizures had no idea what was occuring in their brains. Therefore, the development of this “wave” technology helped improve the well-being and the health of the patients.
As shown in an article from Johns Hopkins Medical School, “the EEG is used to evaluate several types of brain disorders. When epilepsy is present, seizure activity will appear as rapid spiking waves on the EEG.” When someone has abnormal brain activity, it can be easily seen in the brain scans because EEG technology can monitor epileptiform brain activity.
Within the first year, the advancement of research reduced 43% of patients’ seizures by half. After 7 years of research, 74% of the patients experienced half the amount of seizures, too. Therefore, it can be agreed that EEG scans helped seizure patients and reduced the risks for the consequences of this type of disorder.
Improving and Diagnosing
The EEG has helped improve the lives of many. It has increased the amount of people diagnosed with autism and other similar genetic disorders. It is important to comprehend the significance of this technological advancement to be able to know when it is right to use.
Some common applicabilities of the EEG, as mentioned by Cleveland Clinic:
Monitor Alzheimer’s Disease
Check for Brain Seizures
Analyzing Infections and Tumors
Comprehending Fainting (syncope)
Diagnosing Memory loss
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A friendly reminder: We've done our research, but you should too! Check our sources against your own and always exercise sound judgment.
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/9656-electroencephalogram-eeg#:~:text=Most%20commonly%2C%20healthcare%20providers%20use,of%20someone%20in%20a%20coma https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/epilepsy-deep-brain-stimulation#:~:text=In%20the%20first%20year%20after,half%20or%20better%2C%20says%20Dr https://epilepsysociety.org.uk/about-epilepsy/diagnosing-epilepsy/electroencephalogram-eeg https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16334737/#:~:text=The%20discovery%20of%20electroencephalography%20(EEG,MRI%2C%20DSA%2C%20etc.) https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/electroencephalogram-eeg#:~:text=An%20EEG%20is%20a%20test,are%20pasted%20onto%20your%20scalp. Image credit: https://www.mydr.com.au/electroencephalogram-eeg/
About the Author
Raquel Paz Bergia
Leader of The Hope Project & International Growth Ambassador (Madrid, Spain)
Raquel Paz Bergia is a writer from Spain who developed an interest in Neurology at an early age. Over the last few years, she has surrounded her studies around Cognitive Biomedical Engineering. She has a passion for learning and researching degenerative diseases and their impact on the community.
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