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.

 

What does a developmental ...
Have you ever wondered why your child does things that just don’t seem right or exhibits behaviour that you haven’t observed in other ...
What's the difference between a ...
General paediatricians can treat (or are involved in the care of) most medical and developmental problems in children; it's a skillset in itself ...
Easter holiday programs
Easter holiday programs. Holiday workshops are a great way to break up seemingly endless days at home, while at the same time providing a fantastic ...
Tummy Pain in children
Nothing worse for a parent than knowing your child is in pain or ill and not knowing what to do about it or whether to worry.  Tummy pain is a very ...
HEAD LICE (AND NITS)
So was contemplating what health topic I might blog about today and was scrolling back through past posts. My thought process was, “Ooooh!! I ...
Autistic Spectrum Disorder – ...
Hi there everyone, Here is the long anticipated “Part 2” to our enthralling article on Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Had an absolutely epic ...
Autistic Spectrum Disorder – ...
So it’s a big couple of weeks for parents and kids hasn’t it?  School has gone back for the year and things are returning to normal after what ...
Sleep problems
Sooooooo on the topic of “restfulness” – many of my patient’s parents and friends struggle with their children’s sleep (or lack thereof) and ...
Iron deficiency
Well hello again everyone! So today I thought I’d let you guys know about iron deficiency in children.  Quite a few bloggees recently ...
Mummy (parental) guilt
Hello again all you awesome peeps out there that look after little people. Today I am going to blog about “Mummy guilt.” If you are a dad, or ...
Screen time and electronic device ...
Helloooooooo there parents and carers! Electronic screens and “smart” devices.  Smart phones/iPhones, iPads, tablet android computers… These ...
Does my child need to see a ...
The first five years of your child’s life are critical for brain development. Early stimulation from all senses create the foundations for learning ...
Failure to thrive
The term “Failure to Thrive” is enough to strike fear in a parent or carer’s heart… Or at least it does in mine (but then, I’m an Asian mum ...
Itchy girls bits (vulvovaginitis)
So a really good mate of mine (who I haven’t caught up with for aaages – sorry Vick!!) texted me and suggested that I blog about thrush in little ...
National Disability Insurance ...
As many of you may be aware, the NDIS has started its roll out throughout Queensland. In fact there are over 7,000 people enrolled in Queensland ...
Constipation (part two)
Hi again mums and dads! So to continue on from where we left off last week on this “hard” topic (ha ha!), we were going to discuss the ...
Constipation (part one)
So I promised I would try to blog about constipation today.  I like to try to keep these blog posts relatively SHORT, so they are easy enough to ...
Sore throats
Sore throats are pretty common.  You know that ache of the start of a sore throat when it begins and you groan as you realise what is coming right?  ...
Being sun smart with kids
It is no news to Queenslanders that Australia is the “skin cancer capital of the world” – something we have all heard more than once.  But did ...
Excessive screen use and our kids
With advancing technology, our children seem to be spending more and more time using screens. The American academy of Paediatrics recommends NO ...