EPILEPSY DIAGNOSIS

It is crucial that after experiencing a seizure, you should receive a proper post-seizure examination. Once epilepsy is diagnosed, it is important to begin treatment as soon as possible. For about 80% of those diagnosed with epilepsy, seizures can be controlled with modern medicines and surgical techniques available right here at Wallace-Kettering Neuroscience Institute (WKNI). Most of the tests performed by your WKNI Neuroscience specialist are safe, painless, and non-invasive.

The most common tests and exams performed post-seizure are:

  • Physical Exams: A complete history and physical will be taken including a neurological examination. This is very important to make sure the proper diagnosis is determined.
  • EEG: An EEG or electroencephalography is used to diagnose abnormal brain activity including seizures by recording the electrical activity of the brain. The EEG shows patterns of normal or abnormal brain electrical activity.
  • Video EEG: In a video-EEG, the patient is videotaped at the same time the EEG is being recorded.
  • Ambulatory EEG Monitor: An Ambulatory EEG is used when the physician would like extended monitoring over longer periods of time. The time generally is between 24-72 hours. This data allows the physician to see brain activity during rest and sleep activities to determine brain wave abnormality.
  • Epilepsy Monitoring Unit: Epilepsy Centers have inpatient hospital beds where patients are admitted and extensive Video EEG monitoring is completed under the direction of a physician with nursing care. This monitoring is most helpful to determining whether events being experienced by the individual are due to seizures or some other disorder..
  • CT scan: A CT scan creates images of the brain using radiation and computer technology. Sequential "slices" of the CT scan can demonstrate irregular activity in the brain such as hemorrhage, tumor, or infection.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Scanning device that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce images and detect diseased tissue. This is very helpful in identifying brain abnormalities that may be causing seizures.