Understanding Epilepsy
Inside the brain
Risks & Causes
Talk to your Specialist

How is epilepsy diagnosed?

A neurologist or epileptologist interview is the first step. The neurologist’s first tool in diagnosing epilepsy is taking a careful birth and medical history, gathering as much detailed information as possible. This will include both a medical history of the patient and that of family members, any psychiatric condition, the medications taken, descriptions of the seizures, and what happened just before they began.
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How can I make the most of my neurologist/epileptologist visit?

Good communication is a key to successful diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. Being an active participant in your office appointment helps you get the most accurate diagnosis possible. It may be smart to bring a relative or friend with you, particularly those who have observed or witnessed your seizures.

How can I best communicate with my neurologist/epileptologist?
  • Be thorough when you discuss your condition and epilepsy treatment—your doctor only knows what you tell him/her
  • Let him/her know you want to be a partner in your healthcare
  • Discuss your expectations—don’t be timid
  • Listen carefully to what your neurologist/epileptologist says
  • If you don’t understand a diagnosis or treatment, ask questions
  • Talk about your epilepsy medications and any side effects you may experience
  • Do not forget to mention any vitamins or herbal medications you are taking
What are some questions the neurologist/epileptologist might ask?

Letting your neurologist or epileptologist know about your past seizure episodes can help determine your future treatment. If you don’t remember what happens during a seizure, it’s important to bring a witness (someone present at the time of your seizure) who can describe it to the neurologist. If possible, capture a seizure on video and bring it with you to your next appointment.
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