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Lancet. 2001 Jan 20;357(9251):183-8.

Anticipation of epileptic seizures from standard EEG recordings.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives et Imagerie Cérébrale, CNRS UPR 640, H pital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.



New methods derived from non-linear analysis of intracranial recordings permit the anticipation of an epileptic seizure several minutes before the seizure. Nevertheless, anticipation of seizures based on standard scalp electroencephalographical (EEG) signals has not been reported yet. The accessibility to preictal changes from standard EEGs is essential for expanding the clinical applicability of these methods.


We analysed 26 scalp-EEG/video recordings, from 60 min before a seizure, in 23 patients with temporal-lobe epilepsy. For five patients, simultaneous scalp and intracranial EEG recordings were assessed. Long-term changes before seizure onset were identified by a measure of non-linear similarity, which is very robust in spite of large artifacts and runs in real-time.


In 25 of 26 recordings, measurement of non-linear changes in EEG signals allowed the anticipation of a seizure several minutes before it occurred (mean 7 min). These preictal changes in the scalp EEG correspond well with concurrent changes in depth recordings.


Scalp-EEG recordings retain sufficient dynamical information which can be used for the analysis of preictal changes leading to seizures. Seizure anticipation strategies in real-time can now be envisaged for diverse clinical applications, such as devices for patient warning, for efficacy of ictal-single photon emission computed tomography procedures, and eventual treatment interventions for preventing seizures.

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