Hair thinning
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Sadé Lewis of Queens, New York, has suffered migraines since she was a child, and as she began faculty, they bought worse. A current change in her insurance coverage left the 27-year-old on the lookout for a brand new neurologist. That is when she discovered West 14 Road MedicalArts in New York.

MedicalArts beneficial that she get an electroencephalogram (EEG) and an MRI to ensure her mind was functioning correctly.

An EEG is a check to measure {the electrical} exercise of the mind. It may discover modifications in mind exercise that may assist in diagnosing situations together with epilepsy, sleep problems, and mind tumors. Through the process, electrodes consisting of small metallic disks with connected wires are pasted onto the scalp utilizing adhesive, or connected to an electrode cap that you just put on in your head.

A bit over every week earlier than her EEG, Lewis was given directions that she did not keep in mind getting earlier than a earlier EEG appointment.

To Lewis’ shock, sufferers had been informed to take away all hair extensions, braids, cornrows, wigs, and many others. Additionally, she was to scrub her hair with a gentle shampoo the night time earlier than the appointment and never use any conditioners, hair lotions, sprays, oils, or styling gels.

“The very first thing I actually did was textual content it to my greatest good friend, and I used to be, like, that is type of anti-Black,” Lewis mentioned. “I simply really feel prefer it creates a bunch of confusion, and it alienates sufferers who clearly want these procedures accomplished.”

The restrictions may discourage folks with thick, curly, and textured hair from going ahead with their care. Folks with extra everlasting kinds like locs—a coiffure by which hair strands are coiled, braided, twisted, or palm-rolled to create a rope-like look—is perhaps barred from getting the check accomplished.

Kinky or curly hair textures are usually extra delicate and prone to break. Because of this, folks with curlier hair textures usually put on protecting hairstyles, akin to weaves, braids, and twists, which assist keep hair size and well being by maintaining the ends of the hair tucked away and minimizing manipulation.

After receiving the directions, Lewis scoured the web and social media channels to see if she may discover extra info on greatest practices. However she seen that for folks with thick and textured hair, there have been few tips about greatest hairstyles for an EEG.

Lewis has thick, curly hair and believed that explicitly following the directions on the preparation worksheet would make it tougher, not simpler, for the technician to succeed in her scalp. Lewis determined that her mini-twists—a protecting fashion by which the hair is parted into small sections and twisted—could be one of the best ways for her to point out as much as the appointment with clear and product-free hair that also allowed for simple entry to her scalp.

Lewis felt comfy along with her plan and didn’t give it some thought once more till she acquired a reminder electronic mail the day earlier than her EEG and MRI appointment that restated the restrictive directions and added a warning: Failure to conform would consequence within the appointment being rescheduled and a $50 same-day cancelation price.

To keep away from the penalty, Lewis emailed the power along with her issues and connected pictures.

“I bought type of nervous, and I despatched them footage of my hair considering that it will go nicely, and they might be, like, ‘Oh yeah, that is positive. We see what you see,'” mentioned Lewis.

Quickly after, she acquired a name from the power and was informed she wouldn’t be capable to get the process accomplished along with her hair within the twists. After the decision, Lewis posted a TikTok video detailing the dialog. She expressed her frustration and felt that the individual on the telephone was “close-minded.”

“As a Black girl, that’s so exclusionary for coarse and thick hair. To actually don’t have any product in your hair and present up with it unfastened, you are not even reaching my scalp with that,” Lewis mentioned in her video.

The feedback part on Lewis’ TikTok video is filled with folks sharing in her frustration and confusion or recounting comparable experiences with EEG scheduling.

West 14 Road MedicalArts declined to remark for this text.

The New York medical middle will not be the one facility with comparable EEG prep directions. The Neurology Middle, which has a number of places within the Washington, D.C., space, offers EEG pretest directions for sufferers studying, “Please take away any hair extensions or additions. Don’t use hair therapy merchandise akin to hair spray, conditioners, or hair dressing, nor do you have to repair your hair in tight braids or corn rows.”

Marc Hanna, the neurophysiology supervisor on the middle’s White Oak location in Silver Spring, Maryland, has greater than 30 years of expertise performing EEGs. He oversees 10-12 EEG technicians on the facility.

Hanna mentioned the hair guidelines are supposed to assist a technician get an correct studying from the check. “The electrodes want to sit down flat on the scalp, and so they should be in exact spots on the scalp which are equally other than one another,” Hanna mentioned.

For folks with thick and curly hair, this generally is a problem.

A 2020 article from Science Information detailed a examine that measured how a lot coarse, curly hair may intervene with measuring mind alerts. A great EEG sign is taken into account to have lower than 50 kilo-Ohms of impedance, however the researchers discovered unbraided, curly hair with commonplace electrodes yielded 615 kilo-Ohms.

Researchers are working to raised seize mind waves of individuals with naturally thick and curly hair. Pleasure Jackson, a biomedical engineering main on the College of Miami, developed a clip-like machine that may assist electrodes higher adhere to the scalp.

Experimentation with totally different braiding patterns and versatile electrode clips formed like dragonfly wings, designed to push below the braids, has had promising outcomes. A examine, printed by bioRxiv, discovered this technique resulted in a studying nicely throughout the vary for a dependable EEG measurement.

However extra analysis must be accomplished earlier than merchandise like these are extensively utilized by medical services.

Hanna mentioned the power the place he works doesn’t mechanically ask sufferers to take away their protecting kinds as a result of generally the technician can full the check with out them doing so.

“Every a type of circumstances are a person case,” Hanna mentioned. “So, at our facility, we do not ask the affected person to take all their braids out. We simply ask them to return in. Typically, if one of many technicians can be found when the affected person is scheduling, they’re going to simply take a look at the hair and say, ‘OK, we will do it’ or ‘We do not assume we will do it.’ And we even would possibly say, ‘We do not assume we will do it however are available and we’ll attempt.'”

In follow, Hanna mentioned, it is not widespread for hair to be a difficulty. However for sufferers whose coiffure would possibly make the check inaccurate, he mentioned, it turns into a dialog between the physician and the affected person.

When Lewis arrived the next day for her MRI and EEG appointment, she was informed her EEG had been canceled.

“It was simply type of baffling just a little bit as a result of, actually, as quickly as I stroll in, I noticed about 4 totally different Black girls who all had both twists, locs, braids, or one thing,” she mentioned. “And on the decision, the lady was saying if you happen to are available and my hair will not be unfastened, we will cost you. And he or she did suggest to cancel my appointment. However I by no means permitted that.”

After Lewis defined what occurred through the telephone name, she mentioned, the receptionist was very apologetic and mentioned the knowledge Lewis was given was not true. Lewis mentioned she spoke with one of many EEG technicians on the facility to verify that her mini-twists would work for the check—and felt a sigh of aid when she noticed the technician was additionally a Black girl.

“The technician, I believe total, they simply made me really feel secure,” Lewis mentioned. “As a result of I felt like they may determine with me simply from a cultural standpoint, a racial standpoint. So, it did make me really feel just a little bit extra legitimate in my emotions.”

Lewis later returned to the power to get the process accomplished whereas nonetheless sporting mini-twists. This time, the method was seamless.

Her recommendation for different sufferers? “Once you really feel one thing, undoubtedly communicate out, ask questions.”

2023 KFF Well being Information.
Distributed by Tribune Content material Company, LLC.

How one affected person’s textured hair almost stored her from a wanted EEG (2023, Could 4)
retrieved 4 Could 2023

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