• Diagnosis of Epilepsy

    Your doctor will take a detailed history from you and observers to help determine if you have epilepsy. The history may include questions about:
    • Your past medical history
    • Family medical history
    • Any and all medications you take
    • Seizure patterns:
      • How were you feeling before the seizure?
      • How old were you at the onset of the condition?
      • Was there any warning?
      • What did the seizure look like, or what were you told it looked like?
      • Were there any symptoms after the seizure?
      • How long did the seizure last?
      • How many seizures have you had before?
      • After the seizure, did paralysis, twitches, confusion, slowed responsiveness, urine incontinence, or tongue biting occur?
    Your doctor may perform a physical exam. Special attention will be given to your nervous system. Tests will be taken to see if you might have epilepsy, and if so, what type of seizures you have.
    Placement of Sensors for an EEG
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
      You may need to have your brain activity tested. This can be done with:
      • EEG—Best results are achieved when this test is performed within 24 hours of a seizure. Many times repetitive or continuous EEG monitoring may be needed.
      • Magnetoencephalogram (MEG)
      You may need to have brain scans. These can be done with: You may need to have your blood tested. Blood tests check for possible causes of the seizures, including:
      • Metabolic disorders, such as abnormal blood levels of sugar, calcium, sodium, potassium, or magnesium
      • Genetic disorders
      • Infections, such as encephalitis, meningitis, or HIV
      • Lead poisoning
      You may need to have your bodily fluids tested. This can be done with:
      • Urine tests
      • Lumbar puncture—to evaluate cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and spinal cord
      You may need to have your motor abilities, behavior, and intellectual capacity tested. This can be done with:
      • Developmental tests
      • Neurological tests
      • Behavioral tests


    Diagnosing epilepsy. Epilepsy Foundation website. Available at: http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/diagnosing-epilepsy. Accessed February 6, 2017.

    Epilepsy in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115086/Epilepsy-in-adults. Updated December 8, 2016. Accessed February 6, 2017.

    Epilepsy in children. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900174/Epilepsy-in-children. Updated December 8, 2016. Accessed February 6, 2017.

    Epilepsy information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Epilepsy-Information-Page. Accessed February 6, 2017.

    Seizure disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/seizure-disorders/seizure-disorders. Updated June 2016. Accessed February 6, 2017.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.