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Infantile Spasms
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Infantile Spasms

My 9 month old son was disagnosed w/Infantile Spasms on 11/16/07.  His first EEG was quite erratic.  His MRI was incomplete due to system failure. Since then he has finished a 5 week course of ACTH & had another EEG.  The most recent VEEG showed no seizure activity during his awake time but focalized spikes from his left temporal lobe while sleeping.
Now onto my questions.  1) Do you have any resources to help a layman understand an EEG report?  2) What areas of development does the left temporal lobe control?  3)  Can he continue to progress developmentally even with seizure activity during his sleep?

Thank you for taking the time to help...
Trevor's Mommy
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Hello.

The temporal lobe has a few crucial functions to serve. It is a seat of memory. A structure called Hippocampus, deep in the temporal lobe, stores memory. The temporal lobe also has the primary sensory area and sensory integration areas for hearing. And the lobe, towards its back end, has an area of cortex which is responsible for perception of objects as they appear.

About his development. Seizure activity is known to affect the brain functions. It will be difficult to say to what extent the seizure activity will affect his development. But, if remission is achieved, the effects can be minimized.


EEG interpretation can be done by a qualified professional only. But if you wish to understand the report, you need to know a few basic things.

The waves seen on the EEG are the recordings of the electrical activity in the outer 2 to 3 layers of the cortex. (Note: The cerebral cortex has 6 layers). The electrodes can detect minute signal (electrical) changes in a particular area. The electrodes are placed on the skull at regular intervals, and the particular arrangements of the electrodes are called montages. Generally, the upper half of the EEG page is the activity of the right side of the brain.

You need to know, that there are certain brain waves. The brain waves are 'beta', 'alpha', 'theta' and 'delta', in the decreasing order of their frequency.

A usual EEG report mentions any change in the character of the waveforms.

As you are reading this post, your brain has mostly 'beta' waves. If you close your eyes, but are awake, and focus your mind on one thing, alpha waves will take over. And subsequently as you fall into deeper stages of sleep, you will have theta and delta waves. This is the normal pattern.

Theta and delta waves are called slow waves (less than 8Hz). They are normal in sleep.
Now, an EEG with predominantly theta waves (or slow waves) while the person is awake, is obviously abnormal. To mention a fact, the theta waves originate from Hippocampus.

A report which mentions "spike and wave pattern" hints towards a seizure activity in that particular area.

I could not find a satisfactory and easy site on the net. Hence I typed in a few things here.

You may please ask any specific query here, regarding EEG,

Hope this helps.

Dr Abhijeet Deshmukh
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