Doctor insights on:
Causes Of Abnormal Eeg
Too many causes: The eeg is a measure of the electrical activity of the brain. The brain activity may run rough due to lack of sleep, medications, illness, drugs, brain damage, tumors, malformations, etc. Many findings on eeg are without explanation. Specific patterns may indicate a specific disease condition or be associated with a specific genetic disorder. Children can have strange but benign abnormalities. ...Read more
EEGs are hard: An abnormal eeg can mean many things. Intermittent changes in eeg, like theta discharges or spikes, can be associated with epileptic seizures or other intermittent symptoms like migraine. Continuous changes, like slow background, can be an effect of drugs or internal disorders like liver or kidney disease. Changes in one spot of the head could mean damage like stroke or tumor. ...Read more
Can a severe reaction (such as swelling& high fever) to a whooping cough shot in the 50's cause an abnormal EEG and seizures in later life?
Pertussis vaccine: This would be unlikely, but anything is possible. A very rare yet serious side effect associated with this vaccine is the occurrence of seizures. The cdc reports seizures in association with the vaccine (although not necessarily causative) in one child out of 14, 000 who are immunized. This can lead to coma, brain damage and even death, but these side effects usually occur shortly after. ...Read more
My 5yr old son has had two abnormal EEG's. It's in one area of his brain, could a tumor be the cause?
Needs evaluation.: EEGs are done when one suspects seizure activity. Focal areas of seizure activity, determined by abnormal EEG may need further testing in the form of scans of the brain. You should consult a doctor/pediatric neurologist to look further into this. This is not alarming but needs further tests at least to disprove such diagnosis. ...Read more
Many causes: There are many causes of a mildly abnormal eeg from sleepiness (which can look like slowing) to medications, to medical problems causing a confusional state (delirium) to stroke and so on. Mildly abnormal eeg's are also sometimes seen in people without a definite neurological problem. ...Read more