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Health Issues

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Epilepsy

Diagnosis

A physical examination (including a detailed neurologic examination) may be normal, or it may show abnormal brain function related to specific areas of the brain.

Persons with epilepsy will often have abnormal electrical activity seen on an electroencephalograph (EEG). (An EEG is a reading of the electrical activity in the brain.) In some cases, the test may show where in the brain the seizures start. EEGs can often be normal in between seizures, so it may be necessary to perform a longer test.

Various blood tests and other tests to rule out temporary and reversible causes of seizures, may include:

  • Blood chemistry
  • Blood sugar
  • CBC (complete blood count)
  • CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) analysis
  • Kidney function tests
  • Liver function tests
  • Tests for infectious diseases

Tests for the cause and location of the problem may include:

  • EEG
  • Head CT or MRI scan
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)