Video EEG diagnosis of repetitive behavior in early childhood and its relationship to seizures

Michael S. Duchowny, Trevor J. Resnick, Marcel J. Deray, Luis A. Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Differentiating seizures from pseudoseizures frequently is challenging in very young children manifesting repetitive, stereotypic behavior. Using video electroencephalographic recording, we evaluated 60 patients, younger than 10 years of age, with episodic signs and symptoms believed to be seizures despite repeatedly normal routine electroencephalograms. Nine patients (15%) had simple partial and atypical absence seizures. Twenty-four patients (40%) had pseudoseizures presenting as rhythmic movements or staring. Pseudoseizure frequency was greater than the frequency of true seizures; brief staring episodes were common. Motor pseudoseizures usually were of longer duration than true seizures and could be brought on with verbal encouragement. Furthermore, the stereotypic motor presentations were quite different from those of true motor seizures but were difficult to recognize from historic, clinical, and routine electroencephalographic data. Symptomatic patients can be clinically diagnosed by analyzing confirmed episodes with video electroencephalography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-164
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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