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Epilepsy Diagnosis: electroencephalogram, radiography, scan and psychology

Epilepsy...? So What ? ! Diagnosis Epilepsy...? So What ? !

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DIAGNOSIS

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EEG or Electroencephalogram

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Radiography

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Scan

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Psychological tests

The diagnosis will be made by means of several data. What is relevant are
the descriptions of the seizures, frequency of the seizures, when these seizures
occurred, etc. A small hint: be as complete as possible, to allow the
neurologist to make a very accurate diagnosis.

Of course, some tests will have to be performed:

EEG or Electroencephalogram

A physical examination with an Electroencephalogram is probably the most
widely to establish the presence of epilepsy. It is also one of the first
examinations to be performed when visiting a neurologist. This examination is
painless.

Electrodes are placed on the head during the EEG. These will measure the
brain activity. Latest techniques use a kind of plastic bonnet that covers the
entire head. The electrodes are attached on the inside of the bonnet. But the
method encountered most frequently is the one where a kind of rubber net is
used. To make the measurements the electrodes are positioned between the rubber
net and the head. Once placed in position these electrodes are connected to the
EEG device.

Based on the results of the examination it is now up to the neurologist to
determine if there is a presence of epilepsy. There will also be a necessity to
find out in which area of the brain the seizures start.

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Radiography

A radiographic examination of the brain and lunges is performed to verify if
there are any tumours present. They might be causing the epileptic seizures.

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Scan

A scan is used to map the structure of the brain. One of its uses to
neurologists is to locate damaged areas where seizures might originate. E.g. a
scar or a brain tumour will become more visible.

There are several types of scan: CT-Scan (Computed Topography) PET-Scan
(Position Emission Topography) MRI-Scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

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Psychological tests

There are quite a few psychological tests that can be applied. They do not
have the purpose of establishing a diagnosis however.

Their purpose is to ascertain whether seizures of a refractory nature have
any impact on the daily life.

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Last update of this page : 27-Nov-2004


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