By Walter Dittrich, Martin Reuter
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However, the spikes may occur in any level of awareness including wakefulness and deep sleep. The distinction of seizure from common artefacts is not difficult. Seizure artefacts within an EEG measurement have a prominent spiky but repetitive (rhythmical) nature, whereas the majority of other artefacts are transients or noise-like in shape. For the case of the ECG, the frequency of occurrence of the QRS waveforms (an element of the ECG) is approximately 1 Hz. These waveforms have a certain shape which is very different from that of seizure signals.
Therefore, after a long-term ingestion of barbiturates, its abrupt withdrawal leads to paroxysmal abnormalities. The major complications are myoclonic jerks, generalized tonic–clonic seizures, and delirium . Many other drugs are used in addition to barbiturates as sleeping pills, such as melatonin and bromides. Very pronounced EEG slowing is found in chronic bromide encephalopathies . Antipsychotic drugs also influence the EEG patterns. For example, neuroleptics increase the alpha wave activity but reduce the duration of beta wave bursts and their average frequency.
On the other hand, there are other brain waveforms, which may: (a) Have a wide frequency range or appear as spiky-type signals, such as K-complexes, vertex waves (which happen during sleep), or a breach rhythm, which is an alpha-type rhythm due to a cranial bone defect , which does not respond to movement, and is found mainly over the midtemporal region (under electrodes T3 or T4), and some seizure signals. (b) Be a transient such as an event-related potential (ERP) and contain positive occipital sharp transient (POST) signals (also called rho (ρ) waves).