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eeg (electroencephalogram)
The nerve cells of the brain have electrical activity, and give off electrical signals.  With an eeg, the potential difference between pairs of electrodes is amplified, and displayed for the physician either on a computer screen, or more traditionally, on moving paper.  Electrodes are placed on the scalp.  The electrical patterns can be used to locate or diagnose the source of seizure activity, metabolic or structural lesions within the brain, and can also be used to assure that the brain is adequately sedated, as in the case of pentobarbital coma being used to treat brain swelling, or when barbiturates are used to intentionally suppress brain activity during aneurysm clipping and carotid endarterectomy..  Certain maneuvers can be used to provoke abnormalities during an eeg, such as hyperventilation, sleep deprivation, and photic stimulation (strobe lights). 



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