An Accurate Diagnosis is the First Step

Knowing if a person is having a seizure and diagnosing the type of seizure or epilepsy syndrome can be difficult. There are many other disorders that can cause changes in behavior and can be confused with epilepsy. Since the treatment of seizures depends on an accurate diagnosis, making sure that a person has epilepsy, and knowing what kind is a critical first step.

What happens during a seizure is one of the most important pieces of information. And, since seizures rarely happen in a doctor's office, the information given to the doctor and other health care professionals by you or other witnesses is extremely important.

Our toolbox has forms and tips for sharing information about your seizures.
My Seizure Diary can help with tracking your seizures.

What happens during the diagnosis process?

Yet, even with accurate descriptions of events, other tests are needed to learn more about the brain, what is causing the events, and where the problem is located.

Here you'll find information about diagnosing seizures and epilepsy. Start with the basics at Diagnosis 101: The Basics, then move on to more detailed sections and advanced content. Share these pages with family and friends. Know is here to help.

When Seizures are Difficult to Diagnose...

We recommend seeking more specialized care.

Epilepsy centers provide a team approach to caring for people with seizures and epilepsy. Comprehensive testing is available to diagnose whether a person has seizures and the type of epilepsy they may have. Epilepsy experts can help people explore all treatment options.

Authored By: 
Steven C. Schachter, MD
Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN
Joseph I. Sirven MD
Reviewed By: 
Joseph I. Sirven MD
Patty Obsorne Shafer RN, MN
Thursday, August 22, 2013