How is epilepsy diagnosed

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Because epilepsy is currently defined as the tendency to have recurrent seizures, it is unusual to be diagnosed with epilepsy after only one seizure. However, should someone have a seizure, they should seek an appointment with a GP immediately and if the seizures become recurrent, the patient should have a clinical assessment. This includes taking the patients’ history and undergoing different tests and neurological exams.

The doctors will also identify the type of seizures that they are experiencing, as well as a full clinical evaluation to look for causes. If the doctor has any concerns, the patient will be redirected to an epilepsy specialist, who will then continue assessments and make a diagnosis if necessary. Epilepsy is not the only condition that causes seizures, so a doctor will need to rule out other possible causes, such as diabetes, heart disease or migraines. Two of the main tests the doctor or epilepsy specialist will carry out are both an EEG and an MRI Scan.

When talking to a doctor about seizures, it is important the patient gives as much information as possible about the different symptoms, seizure patterns, pre- and post-seizure feelings, and anything else deemed to be relevant.