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Generalized and Lateralized Rhythmic Patterns

Schmitt, Sarah E.

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: May 2018 - Volume 35 - Issue 3 - p 218–228
doi: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000446
Invited Review

Summary: The relationship between generalized and lateralized rhythmic delta activity (RDA) and seizures is more ambiguous than the relationship between periodic discharges and seizures. Although frontally predominant generalized RDA is not associated with seizures, occipitally predominant RDA may be associated with the absence of seizures. Lateralized RDA seems to be more strongly associated with the presence of seizure activity. Appropriate recognition of generalized RDA and lateralized rhythmic delta activity may be confounded by benign etiologies of RDA, such as phi rhythm, slow alpha variant, subclinical rhythmic electrographic discharges of adults, or hyperventilation-induced high-amplitude rhythmic slowing. Angelman syndrome and NMDA-receptor antibody encephalitis can also produce morphologically distinct patterns of RDA.

Department of Neurology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Sarah E. Schmitt, MD, Department of Neurology, Medical University of South Carolina, 96 Jonathan Lucas St, CSB 301 Charleston, SC 29425, U.S.A.; e-mail:

The author has no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2018 by the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society