Publication Details

Rogers, J., Bechara, J., Middleton, S. & Johnstone, S. (2019). Acute EEG Patterns Associated With Transient Ischemic Attack. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, 50 (3), 196-204.


EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ECNS) 2018. Background. Transient ischemic attack (TIA) is characterized by stroke-like neurologic signs and symptoms in the absence of demonstrable structural neuropathology. There is no test for TIA, with classification often reliant on subjective, retrospective report. Functional brain measures such as the electroencephalogram (EEG) may be helpful in objectively detecting and describing the pathophysiology of TIA, but this has not been adequately examined. Methods. EEG was obtained from a single electrode over the left frontal lobe during 3-minute resting-state and auditory oddball conditions administered to consecutive patients within 72 hours of admission to the acute stroke ward of a tertiary hospital. Separately, patients were classified by their treating team as having suffered either an ischemic stroke (n = 10) or a TIA (n = 10). Relative power of delta, theta, alpha, and beta EEG frequency bands were extracted for comparison between the 2 clinical groups and an existing normative sample of 10 healthy, age-, gender-, and education-matched older adults. Results. Analysis of variance with post hoc testing identified pronounced delta activity in stroke patients, while alpha and beta power were elevated in TIA patients. Both patient groups exhibited attenuated theta activity compared with healthy controls. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis identified thresholds for each EEG frequency capable of distinguishing the 3 participant groups. Conclusions. TIA, ischemic stroke, and healthy aging are each associated with distinct electrophysiological profiles. These preliminary findings suggest that acute EEG may be helpful in elucidating the pathophysiology and reversibility of TIA symptoms, and further exploration of the value of this unique functional brain data is encouraged.



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