Diagnosing seizures and epilepsy is like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. The “pieces” are information from you, your healthcare team, and your test results. Explore the criteria and tools your doctors may use to diagnose you.
Evaluate Your Medical History
When you visit your primary care doctor or neurologist, they’ll ask lots of questions about your health and what happened before, during, and after the seizure. It’s helpful to bring along a family member or someone else who saw the seizure. That person can tell the doctor what happened, since you may have been unconscious.Learn what questions to expect from your doctor
Perform a Neurological Exam
If you have spells that may be seizures, your primary doctor will probably send you to see a neurologist. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in the brain and nervous system. They will perform a complete neurological exam to find out how well your brain and the rest of your nervous system are functioning.Learn about neurological exams
Receive an Electroencephalogram (EEG)
An EEG is a safe and painless test that looks for changes in your brain's electrical patterns that relate to seizures. Some abnormal patterns may occur with many different conditions, not just seizures.Learn about EEG testing
Perform Brain Imaging
Brain scans refer to a CT scan, CAT scan, or MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging). These tests look for changes in the structure of your brain, like a tumor or bleeding. Brain scans can often see changes in the way your brain developed that could lead to seizures.Learn about brain imaging for epilepsy
Assemble Your Healthcare Team
If your doctor diagnoses you with epilepsy, it’s important to have the right healthcare team supporting you. Depending on your treatment plan, you may work with doctors who specialize in epilepsy, advanced practice nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other specialists.Learn more about your healthcare team
Epilepsy Centers Near You
Epilepsy centers have experts in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of epilepsy.
Seizure Tracking Forms
A catalogue of seizure tracking forms, questionnaires for parents, and camp forms.
Learn more about seizure diary options and what to record. Find the right seizure tracking method for you.
Epilepsy & Seizures 24/7 Helpline
Call 1-800-332-1000 to speak with an information specialist or submit a question online.