Pitfalls in scalp EEG: Current obstacles and future directions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although electroencephalography (EEG) serves a critical role in the evaluation and management of seizure disorders, it is commonly misinterpreted, resulting in avoidable medical, social, and financial burdens to patients and health care systems. Overinterpretation of sharply contoured transient waveforms as being representative of interictal epileptiform abnormalities lies at the core of this problem. However, the magnitude of these errors is amplified by the high prevalence of paroxysmal events exhibited in clinical practice that compel investigation with EEG. Neurology training programs, which vary considerably both in the degree of exposure to EEG and the composition of EEG didactics, have not effectively addressed this widespread issue. Implementation of competency-based curricula in lieu of traditional educational approaches may enhance proficiency in EEG interpretation amongst general neurologists in the absence of formal subspecialty training. Efforts in this regard have led to the development of a systematic, high-fidelity approach to the interpretation of epileptiform discharges that is readily employable across medical centers. Additionally, machine learning techniques hold promise for accelerating accurate and reliable EEG interpretation, particularly in settings where subspecialty interpretive EEG services are not readily available. This review highlights common diagnostic errors in EEG interpretation, limitations in current educational paradigms, and initiatives aimed at resolving these challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109500
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • EEG
  • Epileptiform
  • IED
  • Seizure


Dive into the research topics of 'Pitfalls in scalp EEG: Current obstacles and future directions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this