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July 1967

The Electroencephalogram in Hypercalcemia

Author Affiliations

From the University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Houston.

Arch Neurol. 1967;17(1):34-51. doi:10.1001/archneur.1967.00470250038004

THE PURPOSE of this study was to determine what changes, if any, are produced in the electroencephalogram by a rise in the serum level of calcium.1

A low level of serum calcium is usually considered to be associated with a state of hyperexcitability of the central nervous system (CNS) with resultant tetany. Schulte and Lohmann2 in 1962 described the EEG and electromyogram in experimental hypocalcemia. Conversely, although it has been less frequently described clinically or experimentally, a rise in the serum calcium is associated with depression of cerebral function. This depressing effect of calcium on the CNS was demonstrated by Gerard and Magoun3 in 1936. They showed in cats that the response following stimulation by an intracerebral electrode would be decreased immediately after the intracarotid injection of calcium chloride.

Lehrer and Levitt4 in 1960 mentioned the EEG findings in two patients who had elevated serum

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