First, here is a picture of a normal EEG pattern, of a person without epilepsy. This is the Holy Grail for a child with Infantile Spasms, and what Will's team here is Detroit is trying to achieve for Will. As you can see, the lines are calm and organized.
Next, here is a picture of an EEG for a child with Infantile Spasms. This EEG was NOT taken during a seizure, this is what the EEG looks like all the time - the brain is in total chaos. This is why Infantile Spasms is a catastrophic form of epilepsy. The constant pattern of extremely abnormal and chaotic brain waves makes it virtually impossible for a child to learn and develop. This is more or less what Will's EEG looked like for most of 2011, although it has not looked like this since his last surgery in November. The fact that Will has been able to function as well as he has considering what was going on in his brain is a true miracle.
|Infantile Spasms EEG with Hypsarrhythmia|
Finally, here is a picture of an EEG showing focal spikes, which is what Will is having now. As you can see, this is far more organized than the chaotic EEG of infantile spasms above, but still not as nice as clean as the normal EEG. Will's spikes are actually even more focal than those shown in this picture, as they are only coming from one very distinct area of his brain, the left parietal and occipital region. However, Will's spikes are coming rather frequently, and are fairly severe. Some of the spikes are so severe that they are radiating out into the remainder of his brain, impacting development in the areas of his brain that we believe are healthy and normal.
|EEG with Focal Spikes|
Finally, we can't close a post about Will's journey in pictures without a real picture of our little Buster. He is really struggling right now, but we must keep reminding ourselves that his pain is temporary and we can and will get through this.
|One Miserable Little Guy|
Only twenty four hours to go until the next surgery, and then Will will be on his way to recovery. His doctors here are very optimistic that after this surgery his brain will resemble the NORMAL, clean EEG in the first picture. Until then, we will just keep on praying for our little Buster Beans and trying to make him as comfortable as possible.