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Why is ambulatory EEG 72 hours?

Hi there,

I've had sleep problems and severe fatigue for a good part of my life, and the CFS specialist i'm seeing wants me to have a sleep-deprived EEG just to rule out seizure activity (i had one seizure ten years ago, almost certainly due to a medication dose i was raising).

The neurologist i just saw has changed it to an ambulatory EEG, for 72 hours! Ugh. I really don't relish walking around with that thing. I'm just wondering--why does it have to be 72 hours? I'd rather have it for 48 hours. Is the 3-day length just to ensure they catch everything, and that you do all your 'normal' activities? I was going to suggest 48 hours instead, because i can have crazy fatigue without even doing much, so i'm not sure it has to be three days long...!

I welcome any advice--thanks so much!


Hey there-

 Hmmm, never had a 72 hour but I did have one done in Feb.. I was hooked up early Wednesday Morning (5AM) and un-hooked late Friday night.. I was able to go out and about, I got a super cute hat and you really could not tell.  The only downfall is that you cant shower! You have to take more of a sponge like bath.. Have you asked your doc why he wants it to be 72 hours?

thanks for your response! He wants to check for seizure activity during all my normal activities, including sleeping.

I guess it's better to have it done in winter, when we can wear coats and hats! ;) Were the wires noticeable?

thank you!

The doctor wanted to see what I did every day.  The normal stresses of my daily living, I only wrote down, what I did during the date. I pressed the button when I knew my seizure activity occured.  If you press it to much the beeper can only record so much.  I have simple partials a lot.  My complex partials are dramatic and can show an abnormality.  I have seen my EEG data and knew my aura did not show until my seizure occured.  Everyone is different some patients data will occur or be seen before the patient is aware of it.  It is an individual  process w/ each patient.  My focus is deep.  Other patients will be in an area that is seen immediately.

I did it on the weekend and finished on Monday.  The doctor told me he really didn't see to much.  I felt flustered.  He noted my seizure activity and said he was going to put me into the EEG Monitoring unit to get more detail. 

The recording is a good idea on what your seizures are like.  They do not generally put all the electrodes on.  When you are in the unit they can put all the electrodes on or put on extra electrodes to be specific.

Yes, the ambulatory EEG looks foolish and 72 hours is a long time to look foolish and not be able to wash the concrete grips out of your hair.

After an injury to my back, I started having seizures and everytime my back is sore I have a seizure.  No meds worked and regular EEGs looked fine.  But ambulatory EEG was a different story as soon as I am up and moving my brain has a party, same with sleep deprivation.  They couldn't find a spinal injury on an MRI but my brain shows that when i use my back it lashes out.  I am diagnosed with generalized seizures, without those two tests, I would not have a proper diagnosis.  it took me 7 years to get the right meds, so 72 hours of the madusa look, i can tolerate:)

It is all a pain in the butt, the black outs, fainting, stomach seizures and clonic tonics and the tests and medications are no better.  Just the cards we were dealt.  hang in there, atleast they do not do it too often:)

Why? I guess you didn't ask the one who made the request to have the 72 hour AEEG. Let's turn this into something funny. :)

The AEEG ended up being 72 hours, because...

  • was a special offer. Buy 48 hours and get an additional 24 hours for free.
  • ...the manufactures are using a more powerful, longer lasting battery, which can help record so much more activity.
  • ...this group of EEG technicians are trying to reach a 5 star rating of perfection.


And on this note ... your attempts to cross busy roads, will see cars literally stopping in front of you, because they feel sorry for that strange person with all that stuff on thier head.

True story!



Peace, Love, Mung Beans

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