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Abnormal EEGs in Cognitively and Physically Healthy Oldest Old: Findings From The 90+ Study


People aged 90 years and older (oldest old), the fastest growing segment of the United States population, are known to have high rates of spells of all types, including strokes, transient ischemic attacks, and seizures. This study examined the prevalence of EEG abnormalities in 12 physically and cognitively healthy oldest old (mean age = 94 years) with no history of seizures or spells. Abnormalities were found in 83% of participants: temporal intermittent polymorphic slowing was seen in 67%, background slowing (alpha rhythm <8 Hz) was present in 33%, and temporal intermittent rhythmic delta was found in 17%. The high rates of EEG abnormalities found in these physically and cognitively healthy participants prompt reappraisal of pathologic significance in this unique population.

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