Epilepsy is a neurological condition that should not be taken lightly. That is why on first signs of epilepsy, it is important that you or your loved one needs to be checked right away. It can put someone’s life in danger if not treated right away. That is why it is important that you learn more about epilepsy and how it is diagnosed.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder where the brain activity becomes abnormal. And when this happens it causes seizures or periods of unusual behaviors and sometimes, loss of awareness. Epilepsy can develop on anyone, young and old. It also can affect both males and females. When it comes to the seizures, it varies for each person. For some, they simply stare blankly for a couple of seconds during a seizure while others will have repeated twitching of the arms and legs. A person with two unprovoked seizures will be required an epilepsy diagnosis.
Tests Needed To Diagnose Epilepsy
In order to diagnose the condition, the doctor will review the symptoms as well as the medical history. Your doctor may also order some tests to help diagnose epilepsy. This can also help them determine the cause of the seizures. Some of the most important evaluations are as follows:
- Neurological Exam. It is necessary for your doctor to test behavior, your motor abilities, as well as your mental functions. These are necessary to diagnose the condition and determine the type of epilepsy that the patient has.
- Neuropsychological Tests. These tests can help the doctors assess your memory, thinking, and speech skills. The results will be able to help determine which parts of your brain is affected.
- Blood Tests. Your doctor will also require you to have your blood sample taken to check for any signs of infections and other conditions like genetics that could be associated with seizures.
- Electroencephalogram or EEG. One of the diagnostic tests that your neurologist would require is EEG or electroencephalogram. This is a very common test that is used to diagnose epilepsy. The test uses electrodes attached to your scalp using a cap or paste-like substance. The electrodes will then record the electrical activity in your brain. For those with epilepsy, it is common to have changes in the brain waves pattern.
- Computerized Tomography Scan or CT Scan. This test uses X-rays to get cross-sectional images of your brain. The CT scan will help reveal any abnormalities in your brain like tumors, cysts, or bleeding that can cause the seizures.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI. This test uses powerful magnetic and radio waves in order to get a view of your brain. Using this test, the doctor will be able to detect any abnormalities or lesions in your brain that could cause the seizures.
- Positron Emission Tomography or PET. This scan will use a small amount of low-dose radioactive material that will be injected to the vein. With PET, doctors will have a detailed view of the specific parts of your brain to help detect any abnormalities.
These days, going out to have your epilepsy checked is not easy. That is why there are now epilepsy diagnostic services offered in the comfort of your home. So if you need EEG or ecg monitor tests to be done, find a way to have it done at home.