Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 637430, 17 pages
Review Article

Electroencephalography in Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: A Review

1Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9
2Neurophysiology Laboratory, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9
3Epilepsy Program, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9

Received 12 October 2011; Revised 17 January 2012; Accepted 23 February 2012

Academic Editor: Seyed M. Mirsattari

Copyright © 2012 Manouchehr Javidan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electroencephalography (EEG) has an important role in the diagnosis and classification of epilepsy. It can provide information for predicting the response to antiseizure drugs and to identify the surgically remediable epilepsies. In temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) seizures could originate in the medial or lateral neocortical temporal region, and many of these patients are refractory to medical treatment. However, majority of patients have had excellent results after surgery and this often relies on the EEG and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data in presurgical evaluation. If the scalp EEG data is insufficient or discordant, invasive EEG recording with placement of intracranial electrodes could identify the seizure focus prior to surgery. This paper highlights the general information regarding the use of EEG in epilepsy, EEG patterns resembling epileptiform discharges, and the interictal, ictal and postictal findings in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy using scalp and intracranial recordings prior to surgery. The utility of the automated seizure detection and computerized mathematical models for increasing yield of non-invasive localization is discussed. This paper also describes the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of EEG for seizure recurrence after withdrawal of medications following seizure freedom with medical and surgical therapy.