EEG and Evoked Potential LabUniversity Hospital
1221 Lee St.
Charlottesville, VA 22903Directions
Monday - Friday | 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Parking: Free with validation, using your green parking ticket when you register at your appointment. Use the Lee Street Parking Garage directly across the street from University Hospital and Emergency Department.
The EEG and EP lab offers tests that measure brain activity.
What's an EEG?
An EEG, or electroencephalogram, is a test that gives your doctor information about the brain's activity. This painless test is conducted with wires placed on the scalp.
We use digital recordings that are displayed on large computers, offering the most precise readings and analysis. If you need an EEG, a trained technologist who only conducts EEG tests will conduct it. The results will then be interpreted by doctors with special training in neurophysiology.
What's an EP?
An EP, or evoked potential, uses an EEG to measure electrical activity of nerves. An EP measures the time it takes for a nerve impulse generated by a specific stimulus to reach the brain. Types of EP we conduct include:
- Visual evoked potential
- Sensory evoked potential
- Brain stem auditory evoked potential
Learn more about our Neurosciences and Behavioral Health Center.
Getting an EEG
If you have an appointment for an EEG, these steps can help your visit go smoothly:
- Shampoo your hair the night before your EEG. Don't put any spray, lotion or oil in your hair.
- You may eat, drink and take prescribed medications as usual. Avoid caffeine.
- If the study is for a child, bring their favorite toy, blanket or stuffed animal.
- Arrive at the EEG lab 15 minutes before your appointment.
- If your child is very young and unable to hold still for the placement of the electrodes, we may need to swaddle your child.
- Do not sleep on the way to the lab. The test is most useful if you are drowsy or fall asleep.
- You will need to remove any weaves or hair pieces before the test.
Getting a Sleep-Deprived EEG
Your doctor will tell you if you need a sleep-deprived EEG. For sleep-deprived studies in children, put your child to bed at the usual time, but wake them early depending on age:
- Under 3 years old: wake at 4 a.m.
- 3-to-11 years old: wake at 2 a.m.
- 12 and older: wake at midnight
Adults shouldn't sleep at all the night before a sleep-deprived EEG.
Don't use caffeine or any other stimulants to stay awake and don't sleep on the way to the EEG or while waiting for the test in our lab.
How We Perform an EEG
After reporting to the EEG Lab at the time of your appointment, you'll be asked to sit in a recliner for the duration of the test. Children will be asked to lie on a bed. We'll ask that you use the bathroom before going into the EEG lab.
- An EEG technician will prepare small spots on your head by scrubbing the areas with a cotton swab.
- About 27 electrode discs the size of a pencil eraser are placed onto your head and held in place with glue or a toothpaste-like cream.
- Your brain waves will be recorded for 20 to 40 minutes.
- We'll remove the electrodes at the end of the test and you may leave the lab.
- Your hair will be damp after the cleanup process; you may bring a scarf or hat with you.
Our labs are ABRET-accredited, a recognition only given to programs that meet certain technical standards and demonstrate quality output.