Diagnosis of Epilepsy

There are a number of tests for epilepsy to determine what type of seizures a person is suffering from. In some cases, the symptoms may not even be due to epilepsy of seizures and caused instead by other non-epileptic disorders. A proper diagnosis of epilepsy would include:

  • Complete medical history
  • Blood tests to screen for genetic or metabolic disorders as well as possible causes of epilepsy such as poisoning, anemia, infections and diabetes
  • Tests to measure motor abilities, IQ tests, behavioral tests and neurological tests
  • Detailed physical exam
  • Kidney function tests
  • Spinal tap or lumbar puncture
  • EEG monitoring to record brain waves and electrical activity in the brain
  • Video monitoring may accompany an EEG to determine the type of seizure
  • Brain scans such as CT scans, MRI and PET scans
  • The latest technology in brain scans is the MEG or magneto encephalogram. This offers an in-depth detection of brain signals but is still in the experimental stage.

Frequently asked questions
  1. Danielle A.J.E. Lambrechts, Laura H.P. Wielders, Albert P. Aldenkamp, Fons G.H. Kessels, Reina J.A. de Kinderen, Marian J.M. Majoie, The ketogenic diet as a treatment option in adults with chronic refractory epilepsy: Efficacy and tolerability in clinical practice, Epilepsy & Behavior, Volume 23, Issue 3, March 2012, Pages 310-314, ISSN 1525-5050, 10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.01.002. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525505012000066)
  2. Srishti Nangia, Roberto H. Caraballo, Hoon-Chul Kang, Douglas R. Nordli, Ingrid E. Scheffer, Is the ketogenic diet effective in specific epilepsy syndromes?, Epilepsy Research, Volume 100, Issue 3, July 2012, Pages 252-257, ISSN 0920-1211, 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2012.01.015.