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Volume 10 No. 07
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Accepted Papers

Case Reports

γ-Hydroxybutyric Acid-Induced Electrographic Seizures

Joseph Cheung, M.D., M.S.; Brendan P. Lucey, M.D.; Stephen P. Duntley, M.D., F.A.A.S.M.; Rachel S. Darken, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

We describe a case of absence-like electrographic seizures during NREM sleep in a patient who was taking sodium oxybate, a sodium salt of γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). An overnight full montage electroencephalography (EEG) study revealed numerous frontally predominant rhythmic 1.5-2 Hz sharp waves and spike-wave activity during stage N2 and N3 sleep at the peak dose time for sodium oxybate, resembling atypical absence-like electrographic seizures. The patient was later weaned off sodium oxybate, and a repeat study did not show any such electrographic seizures. Absence-like seizures induced by GHB had previously been described in experimental animal models. We present the first reported human case of absence-like electrographic seizure associated with sodium oxybate.


Cheung J, Lucey BP, Duntley SP, Darken RS. γ-hydroxybutyric acid-induced electrographic seizures. J Clin Sleep Med 2014;10(7):811-812.

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