Epilepsy Home > Epilepsy Diagnosis

One of the best methods for diagnosing epilepsy involves taking a detailed medical history, including symptoms and duration of the seizures. Because people who have experienced a seizure often do not remember what happened, caregivers' accounts of the seizure are vital to doctors making the diagnosis. Tests used to reach a diagnosis include electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring, brain scans, and blood tests.

An Introduction to Diagnosing Epilepsy

In order to help make an epilepsy diagnosis, the physician will ask a number of detailed questions about your medical history, perform a physical exam, and order tests.
 
Doctors have developed a number of different tests to determine whether a person has epilepsy and, if so, what kind of seizures the person has. In some cases, people may have symptoms that look very much like a seizure but in fact are nonepileptic events (also called nonepileptic seizures) caused by other disorders. Even doctors may not be able to tell the difference between these disorders and epilepsy without close observation and intensive testing.
 

The Importance of Medical History in Making an Epilepsy Diagnosis

Taking a detailed medical history, including symptoms and duration of the seizures, is still one of the best methods available to determine if a person has epilepsy and what kind of seizures he or she has.
 
The doctor will ask questions about the seizures and any past illnesses or other symptoms a person may have had. Since people who have had a seizure often do not remember what happened, caregivers' accounts of the seizure are vital to this evaluation.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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