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Clin Neurophysiol. 1999 Jun;110(6):1029-35.

Generalized absence seizures with 10-15 Hz fast discharges.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA. Toufic.Fakhoury@mcmail.vanderbilt.edu



To report clinical and EEG features in 5 adults with unusual, fast rhythmic discharges accompanying absence seizures.


The 5 patients presented with uncontrolled seizures. All had EEG-video monitoring with recorded seizures. Video seizures were reviewed and ictal as well as interictal epileptiform activity was analyzed. The patients were followed up after appropriate therapy for a minimum of 6 months.


There were 3 women and two men, with a mean age of 37 years (range: 23-59). Two patients had onset of absence seizures in childhood, one in adolescence and two after age 20. All patients also had generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Ictal EEG recordings showed generalized spike and wave (SW) discharges of variable dominant frequencies (2.5-6 Hz) and intermingled 10-15 Hz generalized rhythmic discharges which also occurred in isolation or as the dominant activity. Interictal recordings showed similar but shorter 2.5-6 Hz generalized SW discharges. The background activity was normal in 3 patients and mildly slow in two who had very frequent absence seizures during the recording period. Four patients became seizure free and one had 75% improvement on appropriate antiabsence therapy.


The fast 10-15 Hz rhythmic discharges that we report appear to occur mostly in adult patients with absence, as well as, generalized tonic-clonic seizures. They can occur in isolation or be embedded in more typical SW discharges accompanying typical absence seizures. Their presence does not imply a poor prognosis for seizure control.

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