EEG as an indispensable tool during and after the COVID-19 pandemic: A review of tribulations and successes

Brin E. Freund, Anteneh M. Feyissa

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, elective and non-emergent tests and procedures were delayed or suspended in lieu of diverting resources to more emergent treatment of critically ill patients and to avoid the spread and contraction of COVID-19. Further, the workforce was stretched thin, and healthcare facilities saw high turnover rates for full-time and contract employees, which strained the system and reduced the ability to provide clinical services. One of the casualties of these changes was electroencephalography (EEG) procedures, which have been performed less frequently throughout the world since the pandemic. Whether considered routine or emergent, the deferral of EEG studies can cause downstream effects, including a delay in diagnosis and initiation of treatment for epilepsy and non-epileptic seizures resulting in a higher risk of morbidity and mortality. Despite these limitations, the importance and utility of EEG and EEG technologists have been reinforced with the development of COVID-related neurological complications, including encephalopathy and seizures, which require EEG for diagnosis and treatment. Since the pandemic, reliance on remote telemonitoring has further highlighted the value and ease of using EEG. There has also been a heightened interest in rapid EEG devices that non-technologist professionals can attach quickly, allowing minimum patient contact to avoid exposure to COVID-19 and taking advantage of remote EEG monitoring. This review discusses the acute and potential long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the use and performance of EEG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1087969
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
StatePublished - Dec 2 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Tele-EEG
  • electroencephalography
  • epilepsy
  • pandemic
  • rapid EEG
  • seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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