Imaging tests, such as
CT scan, are often done after a first
seizure. And they are recommended in other
An MRI or CT scan may be done immediately if you had a seizure along
with confusion or new motor or sensory problems that did not improve soon
after the seizure ended. Ongoing headache or fever,
AIDS, recent head trauma, cancer, or
anticoagulant therapy also increases the likelihood
that the seizure was related to a serious brain problem. The nature of the
seizure and your age can also help determine whether an imaging test is
Seizures are the basic indicator of epilepsy. They vary widely:
Staring straight ahead, repetitive swallowing, and lapsing into complete immobility for a few seconds characterize absence (petit mal) seizures, which can recur many times in a day.
Tonic/clonic (grand mal) seizures, which usually last several minutes, typically begin with a loss of consciousness and a fall, followed by rigidity, then jerking motions and incontinence of urine. After the seizure ends, there is usually a period...
Imaging tests may be used before epilepsy surgery to find the exact
location of a problem in the brain. Because scans are able to detect brain lesions,
they can also be helpful in deciding whether it is safe to stop treatment with
medicine. The presence of lesions increases your risk of having seizures if you
stop taking medicine.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Steven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology
August 26, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 26, 2011
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