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Epilepsy

Intermittent focal slowing on an EEG

04/12/2010

Question:

My daughter had two seizures one week apart at 10 months old. There is a history of seizures in the family. The EEG confirmed "intermittent focal slowing" in her left frontal lobe. I understand that people can have this and never experience a siezure. She now has to go for an MRI to rule out abnormalities. What other things can there be wrong? I`m reading scary stuff on some websites.

Answer:

Focal slowing on the EEG suggests there is electrical irritability in that region of the brain. This is NOT diagnostic of epilepsy. We can see focal slowing in people with structural brain problems and that is why the MRI is being done.

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Response by:

David M Ficker, MD David M Ficker, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati