Community Forum

veeg and brain waves

I have had 3 eeg's.  Two of them were mildly abnormal and the last one was abnormal.  Now my Dr. wants a veeg.  My question is what will a veeg show that the eeg's did not.  Are the abnormal brain waves that showed up on my last eeg different from seizure brain waves?  From what I understand a successful veeg is determind whether or not you have a seizure.  What is the difference between abnormal brain waves and seizure brain waves?  I hope this makes since to someone.



A video eeg (or veeg) is important in a lot of ways for neuros.  I just had one in September and boy oh boy was it a treat!  Ugh...  I'll try to explain in a clear way.  The video eeg is the same equipment that they used for your initial eeg except that they use superglue to attach the electrodes to your head.  The wires are then fed into a box that will rest on your stomach/chest.  This box has a 'seizure button' that you need to press whenever you have an inkling that a seizure is coming on.  From there, there is a wire that feeds into the wall and transmits all the eeg data to a technician.  Also in the room is a camera for daytime and an infrared camera that captures movement for nightime.   These cameras are focused on your hospital bed (that is surrounded by cushions so you can't hurt yourself when you seize).

The reason for a video eeg is to capture what you are doing, how you are breathing, and what the progression of a seizure is.  Your doctor may have a list of things that he wants to do while you are seizing.  Mine wanted to try to get me to talk to him or follow him with my eyes.  A video eeg is a safe way to encourage seizures while in a controlled and medically prepared environment.  It also records the visual manifestation of the seizure for later discussion.  I did not seize while in the VEEG environment.  It was frustrating and emotional and stressful but be prepared that it can happen.  You are not allowed out of bed without a nurse present for safety reasons and staying in bed was not my normal routine.  But know that while the nurses and doctors are there and asking you questions if and when you seize, back in the eeg room, the specialist is recording everything that is happening.  I am not sure what seizure brain waves resemble, but I'm sure that you'll find out.   Good luck!

I too had a veeg in September. I did not have a "seizure". However after the 5th night, my doctor told me they were seeing abnormal brainwaves. He said he was not sure they were epilepsy waves yet. By the next morning, the morning of my release, he was convinced the abnormal brainwaves were infact Ep related. He was also able to tell me it looked as if I have had it all of my life. I am 45 and had my one and only seizure when I was 43. I have had and eeg, an ambulatory eeg and then the veeg. Nothing showed up on the first 2. Most specialists can tell the difference between simple seizure activity and epilepsy brainwaves. The reason this test is so much more effective is the sleep deprivation. If you do have ep, it responds to sleep deprivation in most cases.

My advice to you is to go in with the attitude that you will have the answers you need to move on. Also, I felt it was very helpful to have my family with me. It made it a lot more comforting for me. The schedule for me was; the first night I stayed up until 2 am and had a "nap" until 5 am. The next night I could sleep from 8 pm until 8 am. The most difficult part of that was when I was told I could sleep, it took a very long time to do it. It was like my mind was racing due to the sleep deprivation. The schedule rotated the same way for my entire stay. By the way, the cost of the veeg was LESS than the ambulatory eeg. Go figure. I stopped taking my medication the morning the tests started.

I will say it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. No doubt about it. But, I have answers now. I thought I would have feelings later of sadness and pity for myself. That never happened...I have been very reflective though. It is a huge commitment on your part, in terms of time. I feel so grateful I was able to take a week of my life to figure out exactly what was happening in my brain.

Bring lots to keep you awake. I had my laptop and my cell phone. I was too tired to read, so these things really saved me. You really are better off not going to sleep during the time you should stay awake, so that the proper readings will be found. Also, be prepared to be extremely tired for about a week after you are done.

I have a wonderful epileptologist who was a bulldog about getting answers for me. Before the abnormal brainwaves started, he had ordered tests to see if my heart was okay. He was looking to find a possible issue regarding the lack of oxygen to my brain. We never had to finish the testing. Diagnosis confirmed with the abnormal readings.

I hope you will find the answers you are looking for. Although Epilepsy is a diagnosis no one wants, it is an answer. Obviously, for me, there was something up and now I know what it is. It can be lonely with Epilepsy, but there is support and your life can be normal with the proper medication.

All the very best to you!

I want to thank seakats for explaining the procedure. 

I've had 3 veegs since 2003. They were great experiences for me.

The first one was a regurlar veeg. Because they could see what parts of my body were affected, they were able to tell that a brain surgery would help. But that test alone can not tell you if a surgery would help you. There are dozens of tests to be taken (eeg, veeg, mri, cat, wada, and a psych) which can tell them if surgery would be effective. I "passed" all the exams/tests & went to surgery.

The 2nd one I had was an internal veeg, where they open the scalp and put a pad of electrodes on the brain itself and some rods down the brain stem. They wouldn't have known that my szs were coming from the hippocampus if they hadn't put the rods in. They removed the left hippocampus because it was shriveled/dead. The drs don't know if the dead hippo causes the szs, or if the szs cause it. I've heard that happens a lot.  A side note - The brain cannot feel things. It is the scalp that hurts & Tylenol took care of that pain for me.

Unfortunately the surgery didn't help me. One dr told me at a conference that the surgeries help 2 out of 3 people. I'm the 3rd person:>

The 3rd veeg was a regular one. I forced my dr to give me one. I'd had the WORST sz since the ep started. It was 15 min long and my memory was shot for 2 months. That's what convinced my dr to let me have another eeg. But of course I didn't have any sz while taking it.

I know that's a lot of info for you. I hope it helps. If the video is succesful and you do have szs they can tell you what can be done next. Meaning if surgery is possible.

Good luck and have lots of them for the veeg.



Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

24/7 helpline