Questions parents & carers often ask

What Tests and Investigations can we expect to Have?

21 February 2009
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EEG and Sleep EEG:

EEG -(electroencephalogram) or brainwave test is designed to pick up brainwave patterns using electrodes placed on the scalp. The person must lie still. These are attached to the EEG which gives a printout graph of the patterns detected from the selected areas. It is a painless procedure and takes about 30 minutes. Any abnormality that occurs during the recording can be read from the graph and this gives important information about the focus (location) and spread of seizures. However many people (60%) are not having abnormal brain activity or indeed clinical seizures whilst the test is being performed and may have a normal reading. A normal EEG result does not exclude a diagnosis of epilepsy. A sleep deprived EEG means the doctor may request the child to stay awake for longer the previous night or be woken earlier on the morning of the test so as to enhance the likelihood of obtaining abnormal rhythms connected with sleep deprivation.

CT or Computerised Tomography is a brain scan. The child must lie still again and the head area is scanned by a machine that is like a revolving drum. It is painless. The purpose of the scan is to rule out for structural abnormaities such as tumours, malformed veins, areas of calcification. Over 90% of people with epilepsy will have no such structural abnormalities which is good news.

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