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Evaluation and Diagnosis

Seizures are sudden episodes of excessive electrical activity in the brain that usually cause a change in behavior and limit daily activities such as driving or having certain jobs. Using advanced techniques and training, specialists at University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center usually are able to identify the disorder after only a single seizure that is not provoked or caused by a specific medical illness. Comprehensive evaluations are used to rule out problems whose symptoms resemble those of epilepsy, including stroke-related disorders, migraine, narcolepsy, movement disorders, syncope (fainting) and anxiety.

Testing options include, but are not limited to:

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Video-EEG monitoring
  • Neuro-imaging

Neuropsychological assessment

Thinking abilities are evaluated by a neuropsychologist, a psychologist specially trained to evaluate brain function by testing memory, concentration, and other abilities such as language, attention, and spatial skills. The assessment helps UMMC epilepsy specialists understand how the different areas and systems of the brain are working. The information also can be used in diagnosis and treatment planning for non-epileptic seizures and in the evaluation of various brain functions prior to epilepsy surgery.