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Ictal refers to a physiologic state or event such as a seizure, stroke or headache. The word originates from the Latin ictus, meaning a blow or a stroke. In electroencephalography (EEG), the recording during an actual seizure is said to be "ictal".

Post-ictal refers to the state shortly after the event.

Inter-ictal refers to the period of time between seizures, or convulsions, that are characteristic of an epilepsy disorder. For most people with epilepsy, the inter-ictal state corresponds to more than 99% of their life. The inter-ictal period is often used by neurologists when diagnosing epilepsy since an EEG trace will often show small spikes and other abnormalities known by neurologists as subclinical seizures. Inter-ictal EEG discharges are those abnormal waveforms not associated with seizure symptoms.

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