Diagnosing epilepsy requires close observation and intensive tests. Not all seizures are related to epilepsy and some symptoms arise from events that are not epileptic.
Doctors use an array of tests for epilepsy that include examinations, brain scans and laboratory tests. These include:
Neurological testing – measuring intellectual capability, reflexes, motor skills and behavior can provide clues to the condition.
Medical history – ascertaining if seizures have occurred before and the extent of symptoms
Brain imaging – the use of computed tomography (CT scans), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) to develop highly detailed views of brain structures
EEG – electroencephalogram measures electrical activity in the brain to possible reveal abnormalities
Blood tests – screening for genetic and metabolic disorders, conditions such as diabetes and anemia, and infections and poisoning
Other tests for epilepsy include kidney and liver function tests, and an exam of the spinal fluid.