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How Good at Neurology are you? – Answers



EEG 1 – absence status

EEG 1 shows the characteristic 2.5–3 Hz spike and wave pattern of absence epilepsy. Absence status may present as confusion and is one of the important treatable causes of dementia. A previous history of epilepsy is typical. De novo absence status is a specific epileptic condition that should be suspected in all elderly patients on chronic treatment with psychotropic drugs presenting in a confusional state, particularly following benzodiazepine withdrawl. An urgent EEG is essential to confirm the diagnosis. Most cases resolve with oral medication over a matter of days.

Further Reading

Thomas P, Beaumanoir A, Genton P, Dolisi C and Chatel M (1992) ‘De novo’ absence status of late onset: report of 11 cases. Neurology, 42, 104–10.


EEG 2 shows the classic generalized triphasic waves of end stage CJD. This periodic discharge has a repetition rate of 0.5–2/s and

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