OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that significant changes in the occurrence of interictal epileptiform electroencephalography (EEG) discharges (EDs) are associated with seizures: while some EDs are pro-convulsive, increasing at seizure-occurrence, others are protective, showing decrease related to seizures.
METHODS: We analyzed 102 consecutive, long-term video-EEG monitoring sessions, from 98 patients. Using a semi-automated spike-detection method, we quantified the occurrence of EDs, grouped according to their location and morphology (clusters) and we constructed graphical representation of data, showing changes in time of the spiking patterns (spike-histograms). We compared the spike-histograms with the time-points of the seizures (pre-, peri- and postictal changes).
RESULTS: Totally 179 ED-clusters were identified. Modulation of the spiking pattern, associated with seizures, was observed in 66 clusters (37%), from 47 patients (48%). Most of these changes (40 clusters; 61%) were related to increase in the spiking-pattern.
CONCLUSIONS: Changes in spiking-pattern were associated with more than one third of the EDs. Both increasing and decreasing patterns were observed.
SIGNIFICANCE: EDs are more often pro-convulsive, with increasing spiking patterns associated with seizures. However, in more than one third of the ED clusters modulated by seizures, the spiking pattern decreased, raising the possibility of an anticonvulsive function of these discharges.