The present state of knowledge of physiological mechanisms underlying nonepileptiform EEG abnormalities is reviewed to clarify the correlation between EEG and neuroimaging. Focal and widespread slow waves, background abnormalities, and bursts of rhythmic slow activity are discussed. EEG phenomena were correlated with lesion size, location, type (white matter vs. gray matter, high density vs. low density), and mass effect. Clinical and experimental accumulated over the past five decades suggest that polymorphic slow activity is generated in cerebral cortex by layers of pyramidal cells and is probably due to partial deafferentation from subcortical areas. Unilateral background activity changes are probably thalamic dysfunction, and bilateral paroxysmal slow activity is due to abnormal thalamocortical circuits combined with cortical pathology. Paroxysmal discharges indicate the presence of epilepsy with possible brain lesion(s). The EEG is a functional test and provides us complementary information to neuroimaging studies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology