Possible seizure-related symptoms include:
- Sudden falls.
- Involuntary jerky movements of limbs whilst awake.
- Blank spells.
- Unexplained incontinence of urine with loss of awareness, or in sleep.
- Odd events occurring in sleep, eg fall from bed, jerky movements, automatisms.
- Episodes of confused behaviour with impaired awareness.
- Possible simple partial seizures.
- Epigastric fullness sensation.
- Déjà vu.
- Elation, depression.
- Depersonalisation, derealisation.
- Inability to understand or express language (written or spoken).
- Loss of memory, disorientation.
- Olfactory, gustatory, visual, auditory hallucinations.
- Focal motor or somatosensory deficit, or positive symptoms (jerking, tingling).
- The doctor will perform a physical exam, which will include a detailed look at the brain and nervous system.
- An EEG (electroencephalogram) will be done to check the electrical activity in the brain
- Blood test: Complete blood count (CBC)
- Lumbar puncture
- Toxicology screening
- Imaging tests: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT)
Treatment for epilepsy may involve surgery or medication. Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are usually the first choice of treatment. The older first-line AEDs include sodium valproate,carbamazepine, phenytoin and phenobarbital. Newer AEDs include gabapentin, lamotrigine,levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, tiagabine, topamax andvigabatrin. Epilepsy that does not get better after two or three anti-seizure drugs have been tried is called "medically refractory epilepsy." Surgery to place a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) may be recommended.- Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy.
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