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Misdiagnosis of epilepsy due to errors in EEG interpretation
  1. Selim R Benbadis, Professor and Director
  1. Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Departments of Neurology & Neurosurgery, University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, Florida, USA;

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    CASE 1

    A 33-year-old woman was evaluated for episodes of generalised weakness, fatigue, diffuse pain, and dizziness. Her EEG revealed “temporal sharp waves” (fig 1, arrow). Despite the history, she was diagnosed with seizures and started on antiepileptic drugs.

    Figure 1

    These sharp transients arise from an ongoing rhythm of the same frequency. They do not clearly stand out or disrupt the background activity. Contrast this with the sharp waves shown in figure 3.

    CASE 2

    A 46-year-old woman was evaluated for a single episode of loss of consciousness after stepping out of her car. She recalled feeling unwell and weak, and then came to 1–2 minutes later with people around her. Witnesses said that she slumped down …

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