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EEG Activation Methods 

EEG Activation Methods
Chapter:
EEG Activation Methods
Author(s):

Mouhsin M. Shafi

, and M. Brandon Westover

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190228484.003.0010
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date: 21 October 2019

Activation procedures are commonly employed to increase the diagnostic yield of electroencephalography (EEG) in patients with suspected epilepsy. This chapter reviews the effects and utility of hyperventilation, intermittent photic stimulation, and color/pattern stimulation on the EEG in patients with epilepsy and other neurological disorders. In theory, the greater the number of different activation methods used in EEG evaluation of an epilepsy patient, the greater the chance of obtaining abnormal findings. However, the specificity of these findings for epilepsy is uncertain. Furthermore, from a practical point of view, desirable activations are those methods that can be carried out easily and systematically, in a short time frame, with affordable equipment, without undesirable side effects for patients, and with reliable and predictive results. At this time, hyperventilation and intermittent photic stimulation are the most widely used activation methods and have an extensive body of literature supporting them.

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