Epilepsy and EEG

Epilepsy and EEG have been inextricably linked since the 1930s, when Frederick and Erna Gibbs discovered that epileptic events were visible in the EEG.  The evolution of other medical imaging in the 1970s and 1980s provided a better way to localize tumors, and the clinical use tapered off in areas other than epilepsy and encephalopathies.  Even with the multiplicity of other methods, the EEG remains the gold standard for identification of epilepsy.

In modern neuroscience centers, the EEG is still the tool of choice in evaluation of convulsive epilepsy, as well as some other non-convulsive forms, such as staring episodes seen in “absence epilepsy” typically as a 3/second spike and wave dominant anteriorly, or temporal lobe epilepsy, which is seen as a “notched” slow wave discharge fronto-temporally.

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