Chapter

The differential diagnosis and investigation of epilepsy

Simon Shorvon

in Epilepsy

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199560042
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199607365 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199560042.003.0004

Series: Oxford Neurology Library

The differential diagnosis and investigation of epilepsy

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• The differential diagnosis of epilepsy is wide. It is not uncommon for epilepsy to be misdiagnosed. • The key to diagnosis is to obtain a good first hand witnessed account or a video of a seizure. • The commonest conditions confused with epilepsy are syncope and non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD; pseudoseizures). A wide range of other conditions also enter into the differential diagnosis. • A positive electroencephalogram (EEG) is a useful confirmation of a diagnosis of epilepsy, but in new cases of epilepsy approximately 50% of routine EEGs are normal. EEG is often misinterpreted, and many patients have a misdiagnosis of epilepsy because of misinterpretation of their EEG. • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful for establishing the cause of epilepsy. Sensitivity is increased by tailoring the MRI sequences and scanning parameters to the clinical situation.

Chapter.  4199 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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