Determination of the electroencephalographic abnormalities associated with measles encephalitis was of importance in the study of this disease. It was not surprising to find that among 84 patients with measles encephalitis studied at the Chicago Municipal Contagious Disease Hospital by Gibbs et al.,1 marked electroencephalographic changes were present in 100%. These changes consisted primarily of extremely slow activity during the acute phase of the disease (Fig. 1). This is seen best in the waking state and tends to disappear in sleep. Clinical recovery appeared to occur more rapidly than return of the electroencephalogram to normal. In 50% of the cases of measles encephalitis, abnormalities in the EEG persisted after the acute phase of the disease and could in many instances be correlated with clinical symptoms such as convulsions, motor disturbances, mental retardation, and behavior disorders.
Since many patients with apparently uncomplicated measles suffer from lethargy and headache, and since