How Is Epilepsy Diagnosed?
Once a person has experienced a seizure, they may see a healthcare provider to figure out if they have epilepsy. Epilepsy is usually diagnosed using a combination of health information from the person who has seizures and results from medical tests.
Specific health information from the person who has seizures:
- Specifics about the seizure
- Family history of seizures
- Other medical concerns
- Current medications
- Input of people who witnessed any seizures, especially if there was a loss of consciousness
- A complete physical and neurological exam of muscle strength, reflexes, eyesight, hearing, and ability to detect various sensations
- An electroencephalogram (EEG) test, which measures electrical impulses in the brain
- Imaging studies of the brain, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Blood tests to measure certain chemicals in the body and to look for signs of infection
The results of these tests can be completely normal, even for a person who has epilepsy. However, normal test results do not exclude a diagnosis of epilepsy.