List of symptoms and need assistance interpreting findings

Yogamom

Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
11
Hi,
I'm very new to this diagnosis but have had head symptoms since 2011. My symptoms were feelings like I was going to faint, a strange buzzing or vibrating feeling in my head, dizziness, random parts of body twitching, and vision changes. I have a history of migraine with aura that has significantly gotten worse over the years. These days I see lots of flashes of light and spots or zigzags out of the corner of eye that I don't always think is related to migraine since it happens every single day. Over the past year I've been dealing with very horrible short term memory loss and trouble focusing and comprehending things when I am reading as well mood issues and personality changes.
My findings were
"A 10 1/2 to 11 hertz occipital dominant alpha background rhythm was seen with faster beta activity in the anterior head region. Background rhythm attenuate well with eye opening. Photic stimulation and hyperventilation do not produce any abnormal responses. Frequent bihemisperic sharp wave activity is noted. No focal slowing is noted. Drowsiness is seen in later part of the record. This EEG is consistent with seizure disorder."

I asked him what type of seizure disorder this report indicated and he was very vague with me and said I could get a second opinion. There are no other neurologists in my small town. Does anyone know what this report means or what types of seizures I've been having? I was offered Depekote for treatment. Thanks!
 

Porkette

Veteran
Messages
1,787
Reaction score
187
Points
173
Hi Yogamom,

What you are describing sounds like a simple partial seizure leading into a possible absence or complex partial seizure. When you see the colors that's the simple partial seizures and then if you blank out and are confused when you come around and feel tired it could possibly be a absence or complex partial seizures. My advice to you is have your family Dr. refer you to see a neurologist. I know before I started to have seizures I got migraine headaches and then the seizures came later.
I wish you the best of luck and May God Bless You!

Sue
 

Nakamova

Super Moderator / Thank You Queen
Moderator
Messages
16,825
Reaction score
262
Points
193
Hi Yogamom,

Your symptoms could well be partial seizures, but they might also be migraines. There are folks who experience daily migraines as well as short-term memory issues, plus the "zigzags" in your vision are a classic migraine symptom (called scintillating scotoma). There are people who experience both disorders, however, and this is where the diagnosis can get tricky.

I recommend you go farther afield to see an epileptologist (neuro who specializes in epilepsy) if at all possible, since she or he will be able to give you more information about the diagnosis as well as about options for medication. There are many anti-seizure meds out there, and you should be offered more than one to consider, as well as an explanation of how they might differ.

As for the EEG report, a trained epileptologist will be able to give the best explanation, since they will have access to other contextual information that plays a crucial role in interpretation (things like your age, health history, any medications, if/when you were awake/asleep/drowsy during the EEG, whether certain results were rhythmic or arrhythmic, intermittent or continuous, synchronized or asynchronous, etc.).

That said, here's a very general interpretation:
10 1/2 to 11 hertz occipital dominant alpha background rhythm. This is a normal result. Alpha waves are at a frequency of 8-13 waves per second, and are what you would see in adults who are relaxed with their eyes closed. These waves are clearest in the occipital lobes (the part of the brain responsible for our sight and seeing).

faster beta activity in the anterior head region. This also a normal result. Beta waves are by definition faster than alpha waves, they appear in the anterior frontal lobes, and they are often seen in people who are awake, with eyes open or closed.

Background rhythm attenuate well with eye opening. Also normal. This just means that the waves change as expected when you open your eyes.

Photic stimulation and hyperventilation do not produce any abnormal responses. In some types of epilepsy (usually absence seizures), the strobe lights and the hyperventilation phases of an EEG test will produce abnormal brainwaves, but this was not the case for you.

Frequent bihemispheric sharp wave activity is noted. Sharp waves are an abnormal result, and do suggest epilepsy, though they can sometimes be associated with other rare conditions. However, partial seizures would ordinarily be indicated by lateral sharp waves (appearing on one side/part of the brain), rather than "bihemispheric" (both sides of the brain). This doesn't rule out partial seizures or epilepsy, it has more to do with how the seizure activity might spread, as well as the limitations of the EEG test. In this case, your clinical symptoms (the dizziness, twitching, etc.) are the most important part of the diagnostic process, which is why a neurologist specializing in epilepsy would be helpful for confirming and explaining the results.

No focal slowing is noted. This is a normal result. (Focal slowing would be considered an abnormal result suggesting seizure activity or other conditions such as stroke.)

I hope this helps a bit. Again, an epilepsy specialist can provide the whole picture, and a good doctor will make sure that you are comfortable with how the diagnosis is made, understand what the diagnosis means, and are fully informed about different treatment options.

Best,
Nakamova
 
Last edited:

Sabbo

Veteran
Messages
1,297
Reaction score
78
Points
198
Hi I agree that what you're describing sounds like a simple partial seizure. I've had simple partials since I was a kid. I usually get an odd feeling that starts at the back of my head. Sometimes, I have seen flashes of light--mostly in my left eye.
 

Freda

New
Messages
142
Reaction score
0
Points
0
What an excellent, informative post Nakamova. So glad I joined this awesome forum.
 

Yogamom

Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
11
Thank you everyone for all of your very helpful posts :) Nakamova, your detailed reply helped me to better understand what my report meant. Thank you so much :) I also thought my seizures sounded like simple partial but read that it affected one area of the brain while mine affect both sides of the brain. I asked about what my report meant again yesterday and he said it looked like generalized seizures, although I have read there are a number of different types of generalized seizures..he couldn't tell me which one. I will try my best to find a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy but fear it may take me a while to do since I know there are none in my general area. I'm just so desperate to feel better, all these head symptoms daily make it difficult to just live my daily life and definitely creates unwanted anxiety as well.
 

Nakamova

Super Moderator / Thank You Queen
Moderator
Messages
16,825
Reaction score
262
Points
193
Generalized seizures seems less likely as a diagnosis, since those are mostly absence seizures (very brief "daydream" type seizures, as if the brain's on-off switch was toggled) or convulsive seizures w. loss of consciousness. But there are partial seizures that can involve both sides of the brain, usually ones where you're conscious, but impaired.

The main thing of course is that you find relief from your symptoms! If you have no other choice but the Depakote for now, ask your current neuro for as much info about it as possible, as well as what your options might be for other meds if the Depakote doesn't work out or has problematic side effects.
 
Top