July 21, 2019

The routine use of stimulants in pediatrics has increased dramatically over the past 3 decades and the long-term consequences have yet to be fully studied. Since 1978 there have been 7 articles identifying electroencephalogram (EEG) abnormalities, particularly epileptiform discharges in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many have studied the prevalence of these discharges in this population with varying results. An article published in 2011 suggests that EEG technology should be considered prior to prescribing stimulants to children diagnosed with ADHD due to a high prevalence of epileptiform discharges. The 2011 study found a higher prevalence (26%) of epileptiform discharges when using 23-hour and sleep-deprived EEGs in comparison with other methods of activation (hyperventilation or photostimulation) and conventional EEG. We sought to replicate the 2011 results using conventional EEG with the added qEEG technologies of automatic spike detection and low- resolution electromagnetic tomography analysis (LORETA) brain mapping. Our results showed 32% prevalence of epileptiform discharges, which suggests that an EEG should be considered prior to prescribing stimulant medications.

Read Article