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Please help me with my EEG report

Hello everyone....I'm new here and I was wondering if anyone could help me understand my EEG results. I have an appointment next week with a neuro but I'm really wanting to know what it means now. I have had two grand mal sz since last Nov.  This is what it says on my report....

Hyperventilation was performed without abnormality.

Photic stimulation was performed without abnormality.

Throughout the recording there was a rare T3 sharp wave noted.

This is an abnormal EEG due to the presence of potential epileptiform activity from the left temporal lobe at T3. Clinical correlation is recommended.  

Can anyone put this into plane English for me?




hi brook.  it is in the base.  you have seizures.  i hope that is not a big surprise.  It is also saying they found activity that can induce the activity associated with seizures.  the hyperventilation, changes the acid/base balance in the body.  it is the opposite of people hyperventilating and putting a paper bag over the mouth.  If you want i can go into the gas exchage process that happens.

strobic effect abormal.  it is just another method of causeing seizures.  if you want i can go into that as well.

the T3 sharp wave is eeg representation abnormality.  it is the type of wave that is associated with seizures,  the t-3 is the location.  the last is that you have epilepsy that they can find in the left temporal area.  that is the depression on the side of skull on the left side of your head just behind the orbit(eye socket) and in front of you ear.  It is  the area that represents the brain area under that skull area.  potential epileptiform activity is medical jargon for it looks like epilepsy.  clinical correlation is,  see if it what when a regular seizure happen.

I have a question.  How did you get hold of the eeg report without the doc.  this sounds like a direct reading of the report.  you don't have to answer that one.  i hope it helps.  rikk


Thank you Rikk! You have helped a ton!

I got the EEG report from the hospital where I had it taken. I simply called and asked if I could have the report. I had to go there and sign a release and then they printed one out for me. You are allowed any of you records by law all you have to do is ask for them. The only reason I went to get it was because in my town we only have one neuro. She is the one who read the actual EEG test however she is going to be out of the country for a month so I needed the report to take to a different neuro in another town.  

Thanks again and no it was not a surprise lol! I'm just glad that we finally have an answer.


hi,  if there is anyother way i can help let me know.  i check the forum often.  if you perfer you can seed the information thru the people story page.  the other method is e-mail.  it is listed.  i hope things turn out well for you.  putting alittle humor in the middle of this is a good thing.  first brush your teeth and then take a deep breath.(for the protection of other.)  i hope it helps.  rikk

Hi, there, Brooke!

Basically, they're saying they saw "epileptiform" (epileptiform: shapes that tend to show up on EEGs of people with epilepsy) spikes or waves mixed in with your normal resting brainwaves. Normal alpha brain waves hum along more or less sinusoidally at about 8-12 Hz, but a person with a tendency towards seizures occassionally shows a narrower but higher voltage spike mixed in here and there, even when not having a seizure or feeling anything unusual at the time. 

Your occasional spike was the "sharp wave" they referred to, and it came from near the T3 electrode on your temporal lobe.

The hyperventilation and photic tests were done to see if those two things are "triggers" for increased epileptiform spike activity. In your case, they were not. (The photo-sensitivity test, where they flashed the lights in your eyes, only is a trigger in about 5% of people.) They check for these triggers to see if they're situations you need to avoid. Other potential triggers are sleep deprivation (big one for me), hormonal fluctuations (in about 1/3 of women with temporal lobe epilepsy), alcohol overuse, etc., and of course, the ever-popular "random and inexplicable" variety.

Then when the EEG report says "Clinical correlation is advised", that means the doc should ask if you experience actual symptoms that are consistent with temporal lobe epilepsy, such as frequent deja vu or other "simple partial seizures".  The thing that's interesting about temporal lobe epilepsy (simply means that the source of the voltage spikes is in your temporal lobe as opposed to somewhere else) is that 90% of folks with abnormal EEG results in the temporal lobe do experience seizures, but the reverse is not true. Some people have clinical symptoms of TLE but never manage to catch anything on the EEG, which leads to some frustration diagnostically. At any rate, that 90% level with EEGs in TLE is way tighter correlation than what is seen with a seizure focus in a different part of the brain.

Some folks with epilepsy have a seizure "focus" where the spikes start in one specific are of the brain, usually leading to a focal seizure that only affects that area, but a focal seizure can spread over the whole brain and lead to a grand mal like you experienced. Other folks have "generalized" epilepsy, where with no warning the whole brain gets involved and leads to a grand mal (generalized tonic-clonic is the preferred term, but everybody says grand mal anyway).

It's cool that your clinic gave you a copy of the interpretation of your EEG. Some don't. I pasted mine at the end of this comment for you to compare. Pretty similar to yours.

So, don't panic; the neurologist will evaluate everything and, with your input, figure out a course of action. 

I too was diagnosed with left temporal lobe epilepsy after a grand mal seizure, and I assure you, life goes on.  Take care, and come on back here anytime for info, support, and a few laughs.


PS: recommended links:


Date: 03-29-06

CLINICAL INTERPRETATION: There is a single left temporal sharp wave
present. This is suggestive of a tendency to have seizures arising from
that head region. There is also increased amplitude of activity and
focal slowing over the left temporal head region, suggestive of a focal
disturbance of cerebral function. Clinical correlation is advised.

EEG CLASSIFICATION: Asymmetry gr. 1 increased left temporal;
Dysrhythmia gr. 3 single left temporal sharp wave (wake) ; Sleep--no
activation ; EKG monitor.

REPORT: The EEG background during wakefulness consists of 9 Hz alpha
activity in the posterior head regions. There is a single left temporal
sharp wave present at rest. There is no additional activation during
photic stimulation and with hyperventilation. There is increased
amplitude of activity and mild focal slowing in the left temporal head
region. During the recording, the patient fell asleep spontaneously.
There was no epileptiform activation during the sleep.

The EKG monitor was unremarkable.


And, just for grins, how 'bout the one from July 2008. It's more specific about the region of origin:


  • CLINICAL INTERPRETATION: There are potentially
    epileptogenic abnormalities in the left anterior temporal region, consistent
    with a partial seizure disorder. There is also focal slowing of brain activity
    in the left anterior temporal region.
  • EEG CLASSIFICATION: Dysrhythmia grade 3 left
    anterior temporal lobe spikes (wake and sleep).
  • REPORT: The duration of the recording was 51
    minutes. During wakefullness there is a 10Hz alpha activity in the posterior
    head regions. There is intermittent theta and delta slowing in the left temporal
    region. There are left anterior temporal spike wave discharges present at rest.
    There is no additional activation during photic stimulation and with
    hyperventilation. During the recording, the patient fell asleep spontaneously.
    There was continued activation of the left anterior temporal spike wave
    discharges during sleep.


Thank you Jules!

you're certainly welcome!

I should add, the first EEG was taken 5 days after my grand mal (the one that outta nowhere brought this all to my attention) when I was on no meds, and the 2008 followup was taken when I was on 1000mg of Keppra 2x per day. The Keppra has done wonders for seizure control, even though the spikes still show up on the EEG. No idea if the Keppra is the reason why the amplitude mismatch has gone away. I have never had another grand mal, and I have very few simple partials. So far, so good!

Incidentally, the MRI i had was competely normal. Sometimes they find a lesion at the seizure focus, or a little shrinking of the hippocampus, but not in my case. Did they give you an MRI?

Hopefully you and your doc will find something that works well for you.


Best o' luck!

Would someone out there mind helping me understand what mine ment... I had a long term video EEG... this is was the conclusion...

"Interictally, occasional bursts of generalized slowing were noted, along with occasional episodes of bifrontal spike and wave activity and independent T3 sharp wave activity."

Does this mean that mine is in the front of my brain? Or not in one spot? Also, what does the 'symmetric driving response' mean that is produced from the photic stimulation. Is it a good thing to have symmetric sleep spindles? That sounds like deep sleep! haha.. But I wanted to make sure. The actual report says " stageII was characterized by vertex sharp waves and symmetric sleep spindles.'

 Thanks so much.. This stuff is hard to understand sometimes!

(I tried to move this to the bottom, I'm new to the board and didn't realize it would post right in the middle, so sorry)

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