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A 40-year-old member asked:

does an abnormal eeg confirm epilepsy in you?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Goldie
Pediatric Neurology 48 years experience
Yes and no: The eeg is a tool to be used by a trained neurologist to help diagnose epilepsy. The eeg alone is of little value. The history and examination are the important elements. Eeg recorded during a seizure can be very helpful but difficult to obtain. Baseline eeg can show abnormal activity, especially in children, even though the patient has never had a seizure. It is valuable in the right hands.
Dr. Jeffrey Cohen
Neurology 34 years experience
Sometimes: There are several possible abnormalities on an eeg which can confirm the diagnosis of epilepsy, if the patient's history is consistent with that. However, some eegs may be "over-interpreted" as being consistent with seizures when they are not, so it is important to work a neurologist who has been trained in eeg interpretation. A seizure may be recorded during an eeg, that may be confirmatory.

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Similar questions

A 38-year-old member asked:

Abnormal EEG means epilepsy, or are there other people with abnormal EEG but are perfectly fine, please help!?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Julian Bragg
Neurology 17 years experience
Depends on setting: While there are people with abnormal eegs who do not have any symptoms, most eeg abnormalities do suggest an underlying problem. That being said, not all abnormalities are created equal- some may simply mean that the patient was sleep deprived, while others can signify constant ongoing seizure activity. A neurologist can help put the findings in the right context.
A 45-year-old member asked:

Do people who have epilepsy or seizures always have abnormal EEG readings?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Andrew Reeves
Neurology 30 years experience
Nope: It would certainly make epilepsy a lot easier to diagnose if it were that way!

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Last updated Aug 5, 2017

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