Guidelines for the recording and evaluation of pharmaco-EEG data in man: the International Pharmaco-EEG Society (IPEG)

Neuropsychobiology. 2012;66(4):201-20. doi: 10.1159/000343478. Epub 2012 Oct 12.


The International Pharmaco-EEG Society (IPEG) presents updated guidelines summarising the requirements for the recording and computerised evaluation of pharmaco-EEG data in man. Since the publication of the first pharmaco-EEG guidelines in 1982, technical and data processing methods have advanced steadily, thus enhancing data quality and expanding the palette of tools available to investigate the action of drugs on the central nervous system (CNS), determine the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of novel therapeutics and evaluate the CNS penetration or toxicity of compounds. However, a review of the literature reveals inconsistent operating procedures from one study to another. While this fact does not invalidate results per se, the lack of standardisation constitutes a regrettable shortcoming, especially in the context of drug development programmes. Moreover, this shortcoming hampers reliable comparisons between outcomes of studies from different laboratories and hence also prevents pooling of data which is a requirement for sufficiently powering the validation of novel analytical algorithms and EEG-based biomarkers. The present updated guidelines reflect the consensus of a global panel of EEG experts and are intended to assist investigators using pharmaco-EEG in clinical research, by providing clear and concise recommendations and thereby enabling standardisation of methodology and facilitating comparability of data across laboratories.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Drug Evaluation / standards
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Electroencephalography / standards*
  • Humans
  • Societies, Scientific / standards*