Electrical Discharges on EEG - causality?

Posted by flowerbloom @flowerbloom, Feb 22, 2020

I’ve been feeling very unwell for the past 2 months. My main symptoms are dizzines, nausea, ocasionally i’m struggling to finish my sentences and my head empties(still aware, but way different from just losing my train of thought), agitation, headache, different vision disturbances (i now continuously experience some level of visual snow), tunnel vision on low light, muscle jerks. The nausea becomes worse with making an effort to think complex things/learning and physical effort. Every time i do that i get worsening nausea and dizziness, somewhat similar to motion sickness. For this reason i had to stop my studies. I was a straight A student. I became quite depressed, feeling continuously nauseated and laying in bed all day with no improvement of symptoms. I had something i was working towards now i can’t even read a page without getting sick.

I have some unknown origin “gliosis” spots on my brain i discovered on a MRI 10 years ago(around 6 of them possible vascular origin or MS). No new spots on MRI as it seems for now.

I have attached my EEG result from a month ago. My question is: can this electrical activity on the EEG be merely a result of anxiety and depression? I have had a rude doctor sent me to a psychiatrist. I don’t know if she even properly looked at my EEG. She said she was not interested in that.

I feel in my gut that depression is a result of the frustration of feeling sick for so long every day and getting no help. But I don’t even know if i should believe myself anymore at this point. I want a proper and well-informed diagnosis that is meant to really make me well again.

I have attached my EEG. One photo is after Hyperventilation and the other after Phonostimulation.

Those are the time frames where I got the most abnormal electrical activity from my understanding. Is this epilepsy or some kind of brain inflammation? Or can it be merely the result of depression? Is something like that even possible?

@flowerbloom
Good evening,
Okay, let's try this one more time.
I know an electroneurodiagnostic technologist
in London so I sent her your post and asked her if she would share her opinion. She has always written back so hopefully she will contact me.
If I were you I would skedaddle as fast as I could from your current Neuro and never look back. Did that doctor give you any kind of diagnosis or was there a diagnosis of anxiety and depression. Do you actually suffer from anxiety and/or depression.
I’m curious why this doctor didn’t seem very interested in your EEG, I wonder why they even did the EEG if they’re not interested in interpreting it. I wonder if he/s was even capable of reading it. Also there are doctors who have had additional training in interpreting EEGs. Unlike cardiology Where doctors are required to receive specialized training in the interpretation of electrocardiogram's,that’s not the case with Neurologists and the interpretation of EEGs.
If a neurologist believes a patient may have Epilepsy seizure activity when they order an MRI they should order an Epilepsy protocol MRI.
have you ever lost consciousness during any of these episodes or are you always aware of your surrounding? can you hear other people talking and comprehend what is being said, if so are you able to respond to them. Have you ever experienced any type of brain trauma? I assume you’ve never had a stroke. Do you have any heart problems.
I will post as soon as Anna gets back to me.
Hope your feeling better ,
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@flowerbloom
Good evening,
Okay, let's try this one more time.
I know an electroneurodiagnostic technologist
in London so I sent her your post and asked her if she would share her opinion. She has always written back so hopefully she will contact me.
If I were you I would skedaddle as fast as I could from your current Neuro and never look back. Did that doctor give you any kind of diagnosis or was there a diagnosis of anxiety and depression. Do you actually suffer from anxiety and/or depression.
I’m curious why this doctor didn’t seem very interested in your EEG, I wonder why they even did the EEG if they’re not interested in interpreting it. I wonder if he/s was even capable of reading it. Also there are doctors who have had additional training in interpreting EEGs. Unlike cardiology Where doctors are required to receive specialized training in the interpretation of electrocardiogram's,that’s not the case with Neurologists and the interpretation of EEGs.
If a neurologist believes a patient may have Epilepsy seizure activity when they order an MRI they should order an Epilepsy protocol MRI.
have you ever lost consciousness during any of these episodes or are you always aware of your surrounding? can you hear other people talking and comprehend what is being said, if so are you able to respond to them. Have you ever experienced any type of brain trauma? I assume you’ve never had a stroke. Do you have any heart problems.
I will post as soon as Anna gets back to me.
Hope your feeling better ,
Jake

Jump to this post

Thank you so much!!!!

One doctor has suspected (benign) MS based on MRI and EEG and sent me to this doctor for lumbar puncture. But as I said, I have no new spots on my brain. I have had multiple concussions during childhood without losing consciousness. Once fell straight on top of my head with 20-40km/h in primary school.(suppose, I was in the car with my legs up and fell when the driver stepped on brake)

When I get very tired(late in the day) and I‘m talking a lot, especially while trying to retrieve things from memory, I experience these memory lapses. Continuing to explain to others that i don‘t remember what I am doing and I‘m confused, fells like will overexert my brain and i wait for it to pass for 5-15 seconds. I once tried to explain to my mum why I stopped talking and I mildly mumbled my words for a few seconds like a drunk person. I don’t lose consciousness but it‘s like my mind stops thinking. I can only see and hear, that‘s all. As if you would try to not think about anything and you normally can‘t do that, but my mind does that for 5-15 seconds. I can at most tell you that I‘m unwell and confused and nothing more.

One of the problems is that I‘m a patient living in eastern europe and out state health care system is very flawed. After I had told her that psychiatric problems do not exclude other illness, and my depression is also affected by not being taken seriously, she stopped a bit and agreed to schedule me in 3 weeks for blood tests and such, but i‘ve completely lost trust in her considering what happened. I’ll go to a psychiatrist, after someone looks at my EEG for more than 5 seconds and tells me that i can cause these measurable results with my depression, and I‘ll believe that. Actually having the understanding and support of my family i‘m feeling a lot better mentally than I was feeling past days.

I‘m feeling dizzy right now when I try to recall everything. Two weeks ago I woke up trying to remember what I did a day prior and it took me 1-2 minutes to remember that I went to a shop that I love with my mom and we had fun. During the time I tried to remember I had to stop a few seconds 2 times because it triggered my dizziness. Now the dizziness is non stop with exacerbations on effort. On Christmas I was laughing, dancing and jumping with my lil cousin and I had a dizzy spell. That‘s when my symptoms weren’t so bad, only very occasional. It got progressively worse to the poin of being continuous.

My heart is healthy, i had an echography and EKG done and everything is fine. I tend to be on the lower side with blood pressure but still normal.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and help me.

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Hello @flowerbloom,

Since you were wondering whether “…this electrical activity on the EEG be merely a result of anxiety and depression?” I thought I’d share some more information, also because EEG and depression have been under intensive research in recent years.

Electroencephalography (EEG) is primarily used in diagnosing epilepsy and other brain diseases, but there are other reasons why EEG is also an important diagnostic test in psychiatry. Epilepsy, encephalitis or other brain disease may first present with psychiatric and cognitive symptoms. Many epilepsy patients suffer from depression, and at the same time, patients with depression have been shown to have greater risk of developing epilepsy.
https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(18)31313-8

Many experts are measuring electrical activity in the brain as a way to find mental illness. These experts suggest that some disorders that impact behavior have their roots in the messages brain cells share with one another. As a result, those changed signals could impact how the disease should be treated.
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/complexity/2018/5238028/

On the other hand, false positives provided by EEGs can be as high as 50 percent, and those who have mental illnesses may have even more false positives. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done, as sometimes, just an EEG and the information it provides may not be exactly reliable. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00521/full

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Thank you for your response! I do understand emotions happen in the brain, and there is no question that there is a link between the two, at least a small one, it surely is.But a big issue in understanding illness is the problem of association and causality, or reverse-causality – and it is very much prone to error and probably it will always be because modern medicine is still in its early years. Many neurologic, autoimmune etc are triggered by stress, but usually on the basis of an existing illness. As well as endocrine disfunctions can trigger depression or anxiety. But we try to investigate and treat those imbalances first and not cover up the problem with psychiatric drugs. My question is can these EEG gross modifications be under the treshhold of being caused by such thing? It is frustrating to feel like this all day and not get a somewhat experienced and longer look at this. I appreciate your effort a lot. But as you can imagine it brings a lot of questions to my existing problem. Still very confused. Wish you all the best.

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Hi, @flowerbloom – I'd also like to welcome you to Mayo Clinic Connect. As you try and understand more about what your EEG and your symptoms mean and whether you could have depression or another diagnosis, I'd like you to meet @johnbishop @sirgalahad and @jenniferhunter.

I do need to mention that we are not medical professionals and don't diagnose here on Connect; rather, this community is about patient to patient support. So, I'm hoping these members have some thoughts based on their own experiences or research they've done and can also offer you some support.

I know you mentioned you felt the out state healrh system where you are in Eastern Europe is flawed. Do you have options for getting another opinion? How are you feeling today?

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Hi, @flowerbloom – I would like to add my welcome along with @lisalucier and other members. In your first post you mentioned having some unknown origin gliosis spots on your brain discovered on a MRI 10 years ago. You mentioned not having any new spots on a recent MRI which I'm sure equals good news. Did your doctor mention any treatments for the existing spots? I found a few links that may be helpful to provide you with more information.

Science Direct – Gliosis — https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/gliosis
NCBI MedGen – Gliosis — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/medgen/4899

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I keep having seizures again and again all day long, with shortness of breath, agitation and an altered state of mind as main symptoms, hard to explain, my brain feels on fire and more than 20 times a day i feel like my brain is shutting down. I had a new EEG done 2 days ago, which had multiple episodes of seizure activity. The one episode they chose to print on paper has at least 10 seconds of intense seizure activity(the spike and waves are way more ample than the one above). My superficial muscles contracted on both hands during hyperventilation and afterwards I got intense shivering and whole body tremmor, because I felt really cold.

My doctor thinks it’s a type of migraine, but i have a hunch it’s some type of encephalopathy, autoimmune or who knows what, because I have trouble breathing. It’s basically like my brain forgot how to breathe. I have to consistently concentrate on breathing because otherwise I get shortness of breath. I keep asking myself if I do really breathe properly during sleep. Because I often wake up confused, as if I forgot the map of my own body. I know that my arms and my head are mine, but I don’t feel like they have a map in my brain. I often feel like that when I wake up and it goes away after 2-20 minutes. Something abnormal has to happen during my sleep too, which is extremely agitated and shallow, so unlike me. The sad thing is that I am not sick enough for a spinal tap, and when I’ll be sick enough it’s gonna be too late for a full recovery I guess; it’s literally mind-blowing. I really don’t get the absurdity in all of this. I’ll see a neurologist today, I hope she takes me seriously, because soon I’ll end up in Emergecy room anyway. The way I’m feeling physically, i should have arrived to the hospital at least 4 days ago because that’s when the extreme worsening of my symptoms emerged. But I DO know if I get hospitalized I’ll probably have to share my seizures with 150 coackroaches and nobody giving a damn *flower* about ordering me the needed investigations. Have seen that happening to people multiple of times.Wish me luck. Sorry for the rant but I’m very frustrated. And not the least, scared. If anyone has any idea that could help, it would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: My IgG is 1400. Normal is 700-1600. Could it be that a subclass of IgG is elevated even though the overall IgG is still under the upper limit?

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@flowerbloom

I keep having seizures again and again all day long, with shortness of breath, agitation and an altered state of mind as main symptoms, hard to explain, my brain feels on fire and more than 20 times a day i feel like my brain is shutting down. I had a new EEG done 2 days ago, which had multiple episodes of seizure activity. The one episode they chose to print on paper has at least 10 seconds of intense seizure activity(the spike and waves are way more ample than the one above). My superficial muscles contracted on both hands during hyperventilation and afterwards I got intense shivering and whole body tremmor, because I felt really cold.

My doctor thinks it’s a type of migraine, but i have a hunch it’s some type of encephalopathy, autoimmune or who knows what, because I have trouble breathing. It’s basically like my brain forgot how to breathe. I have to consistently concentrate on breathing because otherwise I get shortness of breath. I keep asking myself if I do really breathe properly during sleep. Because I often wake up confused, as if I forgot the map of my own body. I know that my arms and my head are mine, but I don’t feel like they have a map in my brain. I often feel like that when I wake up and it goes away after 2-20 minutes. Something abnormal has to happen during my sleep too, which is extremely agitated and shallow, so unlike me. The sad thing is that I am not sick enough for a spinal tap, and when I’ll be sick enough it’s gonna be too late for a full recovery I guess; it’s literally mind-blowing. I really don’t get the absurdity in all of this. I’ll see a neurologist today, I hope she takes me seriously, because soon I’ll end up in Emergecy room anyway. The way I’m feeling physically, i should have arrived to the hospital at least 4 days ago because that’s when the extreme worsening of my symptoms emerged. But I DO know if I get hospitalized I’ll probably have to share my seizures with 150 coackroaches and nobody giving a damn *flower* about ordering me the needed investigations. Have seen that happening to people multiple of times.Wish me luck. Sorry for the rant but I’m very frustrated. And not the least, scared. If anyone has any idea that could help, it would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: My IgG is 1400. Normal is 700-1600. Could it be that a subclass of IgG is elevated even though the overall IgG is still under the upper limit?

Jump to this post

Hello @flowerbloom, I'm so sorry that you are having such difficult physical problems without any real answers or diagnosis. I can hear the frustration in your words! I hope that today's neurologist appointment is helpful to you. Is this a new doctor that you will be seeing?

Here is a video from Mayo about how to approach an appointment with a new specialist. Perhaps it would be helpful to you in talking with this new doctor. Will you post after this appointment with an update? I'd like to know if you gain any new information.

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@flowerbloom

I keep having seizures again and again all day long, with shortness of breath, agitation and an altered state of mind as main symptoms, hard to explain, my brain feels on fire and more than 20 times a day i feel like my brain is shutting down. I had a new EEG done 2 days ago, which had multiple episodes of seizure activity. The one episode they chose to print on paper has at least 10 seconds of intense seizure activity(the spike and waves are way more ample than the one above). My superficial muscles contracted on both hands during hyperventilation and afterwards I got intense shivering and whole body tremmor, because I felt really cold.

My doctor thinks it’s a type of migraine, but i have a hunch it’s some type of encephalopathy, autoimmune or who knows what, because I have trouble breathing. It’s basically like my brain forgot how to breathe. I have to consistently concentrate on breathing because otherwise I get shortness of breath. I keep asking myself if I do really breathe properly during sleep. Because I often wake up confused, as if I forgot the map of my own body. I know that my arms and my head are mine, but I don’t feel like they have a map in my brain. I often feel like that when I wake up and it goes away after 2-20 minutes. Something abnormal has to happen during my sleep too, which is extremely agitated and shallow, so unlike me. The sad thing is that I am not sick enough for a spinal tap, and when I’ll be sick enough it’s gonna be too late for a full recovery I guess; it’s literally mind-blowing. I really don’t get the absurdity in all of this. I’ll see a neurologist today, I hope she takes me seriously, because soon I’ll end up in Emergecy room anyway. The way I’m feeling physically, i should have arrived to the hospital at least 4 days ago because that’s when the extreme worsening of my symptoms emerged. But I DO know if I get hospitalized I’ll probably have to share my seizures with 150 coackroaches and nobody giving a damn *flower* about ordering me the needed investigations. Have seen that happening to people multiple of times.Wish me luck. Sorry for the rant but I’m very frustrated. And not the least, scared. If anyone has any idea that could help, it would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: My IgG is 1400. Normal is 700-1600. Could it be that a subclass of IgG is elevated even though the overall IgG is still under the upper limit?

Jump to this post

@flowerbloom I recall that you were having an appointment with a neurologist yesterday. I hope that went well for you.
As you are comfortable doing so, could you provide an update?

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Update: I‘m doing very very poorly. The day I went desperately to that neurologist went very wrong. She was very insensitive and threw at me the psychiatric diagnosis. One week on and I started having pain all over my body and muscle spastisticity all over my body. My visit to my original neurologist is due in 2 days, but I‘ll go to her tomorrow, because I feel horrible physically and mentally(as if I drank 50 coffees at once). The past 3 days and nights were complete hell. It’s 4 am right now. Pain in my chest muscle fibers burning right now.I’d pace around the room to relieve that agitation but using my muscles triggers my spasms and pain. I have great hope that she will take me seriously. I was previously afraid to insist how bad I feel, because I respected her and I was afraid to take the psychiatric diagnosis from her too. Maybe it was wrong, she wouldn’t have done that, but I‘m traumatized from the doctor visits that went wrong. It‘s horrible to feel like your body is shutting down and nobody believes you and thinks you are crazy. It’s been very traumatic for me and for my mother as well. She believes me. But she can’t do anything, just watching me suffer and comforting me. All I need from you is a hug. Please like this post and give me a hug through that. I’m feeling horribly and my mother can’t hug me because this night I have to let her sleep, she will drive a long distance tomorrow.

Edit: When will women be believed when they are sick? If I was a man maybe… maybe I wouldn’t have been labeled as “anxious” “depressed” “crazy”. I would have gotten a diagnosis sooner. It’s so unfair. It’s so unfair for both men and women who go through that, but women are usually the victims. Because “hysteria” mentality still affects our collective conscience. That has to change once and for all :(( I hope my message arrives somewhere and it is able to change at least a bit, someone’s mentality and mistakes.

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@flowerbloom

Update: I‘m doing very very poorly. The day I went desperately to that neurologist went very wrong. She was very insensitive and threw at me the psychiatric diagnosis. One week on and I started having pain all over my body and muscle spastisticity all over my body. My visit to my original neurologist is due in 2 days, but I‘ll go to her tomorrow, because I feel horrible physically and mentally(as if I drank 50 coffees at once). The past 3 days and nights were complete hell. It’s 4 am right now. Pain in my chest muscle fibers burning right now.I’d pace around the room to relieve that agitation but using my muscles triggers my spasms and pain. I have great hope that she will take me seriously. I was previously afraid to insist how bad I feel, because I respected her and I was afraid to take the psychiatric diagnosis from her too. Maybe it was wrong, she wouldn’t have done that, but I‘m traumatized from the doctor visits that went wrong. It‘s horrible to feel like your body is shutting down and nobody believes you and thinks you are crazy. It’s been very traumatic for me and for my mother as well. She believes me. But she can’t do anything, just watching me suffer and comforting me. All I need from you is a hug. Please like this post and give me a hug through that. I’m feeling horribly and my mother can’t hug me because this night I have to let her sleep, she will drive a long distance tomorrow.

Edit: When will women be believed when they are sick? If I was a man maybe… maybe I wouldn’t have been labeled as “anxious” “depressed” “crazy”. I would have gotten a diagnosis sooner. It’s so unfair. It’s so unfair for both men and women who go through that, but women are usually the victims. Because “hysteria” mentality still affects our collective conscience. That has to change once and for all :(( I hope my message arrives somewhere and it is able to change at least a bit, someone’s mentality and mistakes.

Jump to this post

@flowerbloom – I can only imagine that would be maddening to feel like you have a real neurologic illness and you are being told it's a psych issue by the new neurologist you went to see. I would be super frustrated if I felt others didn't believe me and implied in any way I was crazy. Hoping @hopeful33250 and @johnbishop will have some thoughts on this situation. @parus also may have some thoughts on this, as may @rwinney @lioness.

Have you had the appointment yet today with your original neurologist? How is your mom doing today with all of this?

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@flowerbloom

Update: I‘m doing very very poorly. The day I went desperately to that neurologist went very wrong. She was very insensitive and threw at me the psychiatric diagnosis. One week on and I started having pain all over my body and muscle spastisticity all over my body. My visit to my original neurologist is due in 2 days, but I‘ll go to her tomorrow, because I feel horrible physically and mentally(as if I drank 50 coffees at once). The past 3 days and nights were complete hell. It’s 4 am right now. Pain in my chest muscle fibers burning right now.I’d pace around the room to relieve that agitation but using my muscles triggers my spasms and pain. I have great hope that she will take me seriously. I was previously afraid to insist how bad I feel, because I respected her and I was afraid to take the psychiatric diagnosis from her too. Maybe it was wrong, she wouldn’t have done that, but I‘m traumatized from the doctor visits that went wrong. It‘s horrible to feel like your body is shutting down and nobody believes you and thinks you are crazy. It’s been very traumatic for me and for my mother as well. She believes me. But she can’t do anything, just watching me suffer and comforting me. All I need from you is a hug. Please like this post and give me a hug through that. I’m feeling horribly and my mother can’t hug me because this night I have to let her sleep, she will drive a long distance tomorrow.

Edit: When will women be believed when they are sick? If I was a man maybe… maybe I wouldn’t have been labeled as “anxious” “depressed” “crazy”. I would have gotten a diagnosis sooner. It’s so unfair. It’s so unfair for both men and women who go through that, but women are usually the victims. Because “hysteria” mentality still affects our collective conscience. That has to change once and for all :(( I hope my message arrives somewhere and it is able to change at least a bit, someone’s mentality and mistakes.

Jump to this post

@flowerbloom – Sorry you are having to go through this and your doctors are not listening or believing what you are telling them. Have you seen the story of Jennifer Brea? — "Maybe this is all in your head": When doctors don't believe women
Jennifer Brea spent months trying to get doctors to take her symptoms seriously — until she started filming herself.
https://www.salon.com/2017/10/23/maybe-this-is-all-in-your-head-when-doctors-dont-believe-women/
She has also given a TED Talk that speaks to some of the problems — What happens when you have a disease that doctors can't diagnose:
https://www.ted.com/talks/jennifer_brea_what_happens_when_you_have_a_disease_doctors_can_t_diagnose?language=en

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