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Epilepsy and Seizures: Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose epilepsy?

At Children's Hospital Colorado, we have a variety of high-tech evaluations to test and diagnose epilepsy. Tests include long-term video electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring, intraoperative EEG monitoring, neuroimaging, brain mapping and in-depth neuropsychological testing.

We also have state-of-the-art equipment used for determining where the seizures start in the brain; this is often used to prepare someone with difficult-to-treat epilepsy for epilepsy surgery. These tests range from functional neuroimaging such as PET and SPECT scans, to functional MRI scans, Wada testing, magnetoencephalography, diffusion tensor imaging and other techniques.

When do doctors diagnose epilepsy?

Usually, a patient is diagnosed with epilepsy after two or more seizures that are not related to a high fever, concussion or other event.