This is the first of a few posts with a variety of ways the EEG can show an epileptogenic process. The morphology of the underlying process are quite dramatically varied.
The two images below show the referential and sequential montage display of an active right temporal-parietal spike and slow wave focus, seen in a child clinically diagnosed with an attachment disorder. There was no history of convulsion, nor any suspicion of the actual underlying pathophysiological basis for the behavioral presentation.
The focus cortical area is normally involved in comprehension of facial expression and body language, as well as the prosodic (emotive) aspects of language. Any disturbance in that cortical area’s function generally has social contextual implications for behavior due to “prosodic blindness”. (see: Van Bloem, L. QEEG in Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder,
Journal of Neurotherapy, 4(4), 2001.
The implications for treatment option with this pathophysiological source for the behavioral presentation which could really only be discovered through the EEG are enormous. The use of an anticonvulsant or an approach with one of the proven efficacious applications of Neurofeedback in treating epilepsy can be used to target the underlying cause, rather than trying to effect some symptomatic control with antipsychotic or antidepressant medications so commonly used in these situations of severe attachment disorder. (see a review of SMR applied to epilepsy by Dr. M. Barry Sterman, Professor Emeritus, UCLA, from 2000 in Clinical Electroencephalography’s special edition on Neurofeedback)
In these images the referential focus is seen associated with the largest waveform, though in the sequential data the 180 degree phase reversal points to the focus.