Smiling family of 3 sitting on the couch watching TV. Young boy is wearing ambulatory EEG equipment. Dad has his arm around the son. Mum is looking at the son.

Ambulatory EEG (AMB EEG): What is it?

What is an Ambulatory EEG (AMB EEG) test?

An ambulatory EEG, also called AMB EEG or AEEG, is an electroencephalography test where a person wears a portable and wearable electroencephalograph (EEG) device. 

An ambulatory EEG takes an accurate reading of a person’s electrical activity in the brain over a 24-hour period or longer. Recording data over a period of more than one (1) day increases the chances of recording activity than would be possible in an EEG done at a single doctor’s visit. 

In addition to recording brain activity, an ambulatory EEG sometimes includes video monitoring which is set up in the home to provide valuable visual insights of the body’s behaviour, and a wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) device to record heart activity.

The combination of all three forms of monitoring and recording is referred to as video-EEG-ECG monitoring and it is one of the most accurate ways to collect data to help doctors diagnose seizures and seizure-like events. 

This kind of test was previously only available in a hospital epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) but is now available in the comfort of home through Seer Medical.

Explaining the terms

Testing terms are sometimes confused and used interchangeably to refer to the same test, but they each have different meanings.

  • ‘Ambulatory’ — means the ability to move around. The testing equipment has been adapted to be worn on the body allowing the person to move freely during the test
  • ‘Video-EEG-ECG’ — a test that combines video recording with EEG and ECG data recording
  • ‘Day monitoring’ — the test lasts up to 24 hours
  • ‘Long-term monitoring’ — the test lasts between 1-10 days

A family of 3 sitting around a table having a meal. The young boy is wearing ambulatory EEG equipment and being monitored. A Seer monitoring hub is in the room recording.

What shows up on an ambulatory EEG test?

When using all three monitoring devices for video-EEG-ECG testing, doctors are able to observe the electrical activity of the brain and heart in wave patterns that they can then interpret and use to look for abnormal activity. Abnormalities in brain and/or heart data is synced with video footage allowing doctors to see how the body behaves during an event.

 The combined insights collected from video-EEG-ECG testing allow doctors to diagnose:

  • Epileptic seizures
  • Non-epileptic seizures
  • Other conditions that are not seizures and may require further testing

How do I know if I need to get an ambulatory EEG test?

With so many types of seizures, all with varying symptoms and levels of severity, getting an accurate diagnosis from a doctor is incredibly important.

 In general, common symptoms of seizures can include:

  • Confusion or zoning out
  • Strange sensations or feelings
  • Repetitive actions done without a purpose
  • Sudden loss of muscle control
  • Repetitive jerking movements
  • Sudden loss of consciousness

If you suspect you or a loved one might be having seizures, it’s always best to consult a doctor as soon as possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call ‘000’. 

Smiling family of 3 sitting on the couch watching TV. Young boy is wearing ambulatory EEG equipment. Dad has his arm around the son. Mum is looking at the son.

What makes Seer Medical’s ambulatory EEG different from others?

Testing with Seer Medical allows people to have the benefits of video-EEG-ECG monitoring over a longer period of time while staying in the comfort of their own homes. Monitoring periods can last between 3-10 days to provide a higher chance of capturing potential events.

 

[Blog] Video-EEG — Seer Medical or hospital?

 

How to prepare for an ambulatory EEG test

An ambulatory video-EEG-ECG test is safe and painless, and only requires some temporary adjustments to your normal routines. For example, while the test is ongoing, it is best not to leave the camera view for more than a total of one (1) hour per day. 

Additionally, the EEG electrodes cannot get wet. Your ability to either shower, bathe, or take a sponge bath will depend on which system you are provided, so you will need to make preparations for this as well. 

With those aspects of testing in mind, here are some tips to help you prepare for your test:

  • Clear your schedule as much as possible to avoid unnecessary outings
  • Stock up on groceries beforehand, or plan to get groceries delivered
  • Get face wipes and a bath sponge or washcloth. (Seer Medical will provide a shower cap.)
  • Prepare entertainment and activities. This could include making a watch list of movies, getting supplies ready for a new or existing hobby, or getting some new games or books.
  • Find a friend or family member to support you through the process either by spending your monitoring time with you at home or connecting with you over video chat.
  • Join a group, such as Epilepsy Australia on Facebook, to find support and hear from others who have already been through testing
  • Download the Seer app to start tracking your events even before testing begins

Click below to download the preparing for monitoring checklist.

Download the Preparing for Monitoring Checklist.

 

The Dos and Don’ts when getting an ambulatory EEG test

While the Seer Medical team will go into more detail in the days leading up to your connection appointment, here are two key things you need to know to prepare for the day of:

  • Arrive at your connection appointment with freshly washed, clean hair. This means no products, braids, or extensions
  • Wear a button-up or loose-fitting shirt to make it easier to get changed

Once your equipment is connected and monitoring has begun, keep in mind these simple dos and don’ts

Dos


  • Go about your day as normal
  • Stay in front of the camera as much as possible
  • Keep your monitoring hub connected to power and turned on
  • Keep yourself comfortable and entertained
  • Report events on the Seer app if they occur

Don’ts


  • Avoid snacking or excessive chewing. Especially avoid gum and crunchy snacks. Excessive chewing can create false signals on the EEG recording
  • No exercising
  • Avoid sweating/moisture
  • Avoid scratching under or near electrodes
  • Do not use certain devices when they are plugged into power such as phones, laptops, and electric blankets
  • Do not unplug the monitoring hub (you may briefly leave the room or move it to another room if needed)

Ambulatory EEG testing can give your doctor the valuable information they need to make an accurate diagnosis. With Seer Medical’s simple and convenient video-EEG-ECG testing, you can get the benefits of having the most comprehensive type of ambulatory EEG test right from your home.

To learn more, contact the friendly team at Seer Medical and find out if our service is right for you.