June 6, 2016
ARTICLE:

How do you diagnose epilepsy?

By Tommy Tran

PIP-Blog_Epilepsy

Seizures are quite common in the Australian population with one in 10 people having a seizure at least once in their lifetime. This however does not mean the person has epilepsy. In many situations, children will have febrile seizures, and in many cases will have multiple febrile seizures in their life.

Epilepsy is a common condition that will affect 3-4% of people in Australia at some time in their life. By definition, to have epilepsy your child needs to have TWO or more unprovoked seizures. This means that seizures associated with fevers, head injuries or a low blood sugar do not automatically indicate epilepsy. The only proviso to this to this is if your child has a known structural abnormality of their brain and then has ONE unprovoked seizure.

The difficulty with diagnosing epilepsy is that there are many epileptic syndromes which can present in many ways. This is why it is important to get an accurate history from bystanders or observers. Fortunately in the current day where many people have mobile phones, videos can be easily taken.

In most cases your doctor or paediatrician will arrange an EEG to help confirm a diagnosis of epilepsy. This test measures the electrical activity on the surface of the brain and may help to localise where the seizure activity is coming from. It is important to know however that an abnormal EEG does not necessarily mean your child has epilepsy. Many children without epilepsy can have abnormal electrical activity on an EEG.

It is only when the EEG correlates with what is actually seen when the child is having a seizure that your doctor would consider making a diagnosis of epilepsy.

Other investigations that can be helpful would include an MRI or blood tests depending on the type of seizure that your child presents with.

For more information about epilepsy you can visit this website. http://www.epilepsyqueensland.com.au/site/

Have you used our service? We are always looking for ways to improve so please take the time to complete our survey.

 

Fidgets
  The fidget spinners craze has been incredible to watch however it has led to some confusion around 'fidgets' and how they might ...
Living with eczema
What is eczema?  Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a very common inflammatory condition of the skin. While the causes are not well understood, eczema ...
Mindfulness: Can it help my ...
It is hard to escape all the talk about Mindfulness. In fact, it is being mentioned so much in mainstream media that it would be easy to dismiss it ...
Let’s talk about anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is the most severe and potentially dangerous type of allergic reaction. It is especially serious as it usually affects multiple bodily ...
What about the flu vaccine if my ...
Vaccinating your children is very important to reduce the risk of them developing serious infections such as measles, meningococcal disease or ...
Introduction of Solids
Avoiding allergenic foods in infancy and allergy In 2008, the American Academy of Paediatrics recommended early childhood avoidance of highly ...
ASCIA Guidelines for the ...
ASCIA GUIDELINES FOR THE PREVENTION OF FOOD ALLERGIES Maternal Diet in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Excluding foods from maternal diet in ...
Food Intolerance
IS IT INTOLERANCE OR ALLERGY? Food allergy is an immune reaction to foods. Food intolerance is better understood as a chemical sensitivity which is ...
Tongue-Ties in Newborns
A tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a short, thin piece of skin under the baby's tongue (lingual frenulum) which restricts the movement of the tongue ...
How do you diagnose epilepsy?
Seizures are quite common in the Australian population.
Eczema tips and tricks
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is an extremely common condition in children.
Chromosomal microarray testing in ...
With the increase incidence in autism, there has been more research into the potential causes for autism
What do you do after a diagnosis ...
With more people being diagnosed with Autism, what do you need to do after your child has been given a diagnosis?
What does an autism assessment ...
What does an Autism Assessment does actually entail?
Coughing in children
What are the common causes of coughing?
Bed Wetting
About 5% of children aged nine to ten still wet the bed.
Anxiety in Children
Anxious behaviours are common in children.
Positional Plagiocephaly – ...
Positional plagiocephaly is a very common condition that results in an asymmetrical head shape.
Melatonin for sleep problems in ...
Sleep difficulties are very common in children.
Normal speech and language ...
Speech and language delay is the most common development delay seen in young children.