what is the significance of slowing of brain waves on an EEG? Is this encephalopathy? Thanks again for your time!!
Slowed brain waves have differing significance depending on the type, location, and degree of slowing, and upon the age of the individual.
There are two frequency ranges of slowing: Theta is mild slowing in the 4-8 Hz range. Delta is severe slowing in the <4 Hz range.
Either of these frequencies can occur over a region or side of the head (focal, regional, or lateralized slowing), or may occur over a more generalized symmetric fashion, even over the entire head (generalized). Slowing may be rhythmical of irregular/polymorphic. It may occur continuously or intermittently.
Theta and delta frequencies are normal in children, while they are commonly abnormal in the alert adult. Slowing does occur in normal drowsiness or sleep.
Generalized slowing, rhythmical or otherwise, is a frequent EEG feature of various forms of encephalopathy (a wastebasket term of an alteration of alertness due to a diffuse brain process). Focal slowing, in contrast represents a focal disease process such as a stroke, abscess, tumor, etc.
I hope this answers your question.
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