New study shows how EEG can aid rolandic epilepsy treatment

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A new study from Japan has shed light on how electroencephalogram (EEG) techniques can be useful in aiding the treatment of patients with rolandic epilepsy.

This form of epilepsy is generally associated with favourable outcomes, with a moderate proportion of cases characterised by isolated seizure events, meaning continuous treatment need only be considered only for those affected by frequent seizures.

As such, the new research from the University of Yamanashi aimed to identify EEG criteria related to seizure recurrence in rolandic epilepsy, in order to help guide treatment strategies for those in this patient group.

A total of ten children between the ages of three and ten with recurrent seizures and 12 patients aged between four and seven years who experienced isolated seizures were enrolled in the study, with seizure recurrence and prolonged high-frequency EEG paroxysm data being correlated by the scientists.

Repeated EEG recordings were taken every three months, with clinical and EEG follow-up performed for four or more years. It was discovered that seizure recurrence and extended periods of high-frequency paroxysmal EEG abnormalities for more than 6 months after onset were significantly linked.

Moreover, the appearance of rolandic discharges in awake recordings tended to be more prevalent in the recurrence group than in the isolated group, offering another indicator of how this particular condition can be monitored and seizure occurrence predicted.

The researchers said: “A combination of spike rate and extended periods of high-frequency paroxysmal EEG abnormalities may predict seizure recurrence in rolandic epilepsy.”

Benign rolandic epilepsy is a non-serious form of the condition characterised by twitching, numbness or tingling in the child’s face or tongue, or short seizures lasting no more than two minutes. The patient tends to remain fully conscious throughout and any seizures that do occur are infrequent.

So-called because they stem from the rolandic area of the brain – which controls physical movement – rolandic epilepsy is characterised as benign because the seizures eventually stop on their own by the age of 15 in almost 100 per cent of cases.

Posted by Bob Jones