The largest Lyapunov exponent of the EEG during ECT seizures as a measure of ECT seizure adequacy

Andrew D. Krystal, Craig Zaidman, Henry S. Greenside, Richard D. Weiner, C. Edward Coffey

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31 Scopus citations


Attributes of the electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded during electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) seizures appear promising for decreasing the uncertainty that exists about how to define a therapeutically adequate seizure. In the present report we study whether one promising and not yet tested ictal EEG measure, the largest Lyapunov exponent (λ1), is useful in this regard. We calculated λ1 from 2 channel ictal EEG data recorded in 25 depressed subjects who received right unilateral ECT. We studied the relationship of λ1 to treatment therapeutic outcome and to an indirect measure of treatment therapeutic potency, the extent to which the stimulus intensity exceeds the seizure threshold. We found λ1 could be reliably calculated from ictal EEG data and that the global mean, maximum, and standard deviation of λ1 were smaller in the more therapeutically potent moderately suprathreshold ECT and in therapeutic responders. These results imply a more predictable or consistent pattern of EEG seizure activity over time in more therapeutically effective ECT seizures. These findings also suggest the promise of λ1 as a marker of ECT seizure therapeutic adequacy and build on our previous work suggesting that λ1 may be useful for classifying seizures and for reflecting the relative physiologic impact of seizure activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-606
Number of pages8
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1997


  • ECT
  • EEG
  • Lyapunov exponent
  • Seizure adequacy


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