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Abnormal EEG during sleep - My 4 year old

Hi Everyone,

I have a 4 year old that had a seizure 5 days back.  He just happened to crawl into bed with my wife and I that early that morning so we witnessed it first hand.  We went to the ER where they did some blood work and a cat scan which all checked out ok.  We managed to get into see a nuerologist quickly due to a cancellation and we just got the results of his EEG.  It was normal when he was awake (stobe lights etc) but once he went to sleep  he started having abnormal patterns.  The doctor said he had 7 abnormalities while asleep (about 2 - 3 seconds each). He was asleep for about 30 minutes during the EEG.

To be honest, I was not crazy about the neurologist as he didn't explain a lot so I am trying to get a handle on what this means.  Clearly abnormalities doesn't seem good but is seven in a 30 minute period a lot?  Is it possible that he may not have a major event again or with abnormalities is he likely to have more seizures?  Given that the events only occured during sleep does this mean he's most likely to only have seizures during sleep?

Thanks in advance for any input you have on the EEG.  I'd also love any advice you can give a parent new to epilepsy.





i guess the bad first.  the abnormal eeg, is just that abnormal.  that is probably what happened with the seizure you witnessed.  it just did not progress to that extent during the eeg.  The good.  You have something that showes up on eeg.  alot of people don't.  the question of whether or not it will stay to just nocturnal seizures, is there is no rule.

As far as the parent of someone with epilepsy.   First don't get caught up with the idea that your son is an epileptic.  he may have epilepsy.  He is your son, and he is himself and you are both dealing with the seizures.  Don't treat him any different than before.  the issue is knowing what to do if he has a seizure.  knowing what to do as a parent to do, or to not do, or allow to help prevent seizures.  to maintain life as normal as possible.

You are already doing much of what you will need to do.  Educate yourself and your wife.  that education will reduce your and his fear.  talk with other people that are going throught the same things.  you are doing that.

Make a list of questions for the doc.  make the answer the questions, in a way that you understand.  You should not be intimidated by the word doctor.  get the answers.  it is the biggest part of his/her job.  make them speak english.  most people don't' understand medical language.

The neuro may be okay to manage the epilepsy/seizures, but it may be better to have him evaluated by a pediatric neurologist, or better still and pediatric epileptologist.

One of the most important things you can do for both your son and yourself, is to have a doctor you have faith in and are comfortable with.   If that is not there, the best idea is to find another doc.  you have to be confident in the doc.  it may have been a bad day for the doc when you seen him before, it may not have been the normal behavior for the doc.  don't deciede on a couple of visits.  The end would be to trust your own judgement.

Remember you are still dad and he is still son.  That has not changed.  he will take his ques from you. questions, confidence, disipline, and consistancy.  Just because he had seizures is not a reason to change the definition of dad.

What you are going through is hell.  You are doing the right things.  keep doing them.  if I(we) can help, let us know.   hope it helps.  rikk

Hi ToddTx,

Sounds like the EEG results just left you with more questions than answers.  If the first neuro was not one that specializes in pediatric seizure disorders or epilepsy (usually at an epilepsy center) then I would make an appointment with one right away.  I have found that there is usually a wait of one or two months to get in to see one for the first time.   Then you can have a neuro who is more familiar with this advise you. 

If your first neuro is one that specializes in seizure disorders and epilepsy, then I would follow up with him/her with another appointment for answers to your questions.  Perhaps there is another neuro in the same office you can try that might be a little more helpful?  I just switched my son's neuro (who did specialize in epilepsy) to another one because he wasn't very informative at all - it was like talking to a brick wall.

Good luck and I hope all goes well.


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