Resting-state EEG for the diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures: A systematic review

Irene Faiman*, Stuart Smith, John Hodsoll, Allan Young, Paul Shotbolt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Quantitative markers extracted from resting-state electroencephalogram (EEG) reveal subtle neurophysiological dynamics which may provide useful information to support the diagnosis of seizure disorders. We performed a systematic review to summarize evidence on markers extracted from interictal, visually normal resting-state EEG in adults with idiopathic epilepsy or psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES). Studies were selected from 5 databases and evaluated using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2. 26 studies were identified, 19 focusing on people with epilepsy, 6 on people with PNES, and one comparing epilepsy and PNES directly. Results suggest that oscillations along the theta frequency (4–8 Hz) may have a relevant role in idiopathic epilepsy, whereas in PNES there was no evident trend. However, studies were subject to a number of methodological limitations potentially introducing bias. There was often a lack of appropriate reporting and high heterogeneity. Results were not appropriate for quantitative synthesis. We identify and discuss the challenges that must be addressed for valid resting-state EEG markers of epilepsy and PNES to be developed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108047
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Issue numberPart A
Early online date3 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Systematic review
  • Epilepsy
  • Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures
  • Resting-state EEG
  • Diagnostic marker
  • Theta rhythm


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