Q.24. What investigations are done for epilepsy ?

Ans: The diagnosis of epilepsy is entirely based on the description of an attack by a witness. The specific investigations include EEG & imaging investigation like CT Scan or MRI scans are done when a structural disease of the brain is suspected like brain tumour or brain TB etc.

Q.25. What is an EEG ?

Ans: Electroencephalograph is a record of brain electrical activity (EEG) - like ECG is a record of heart electrical activity. Epilepsy being a result of burst of abnormal electrical discharges. EEG will help to detect such abnormal electrical discharges. EEG can also detect from which part of the brain the electrical discharges originate.

Q.26. How does EEG help in the diagnosis of epilepsy ?

Ans: EEG is not for diagnosis of epilepsy but to know the type of epilepsy, so that appropriate antiepileptic drug can be chosen.

Q.27. What is Computerized Tomography (CT Scan) ?

Ans: The CT scan is a type of imaging of the brain wherein through x-rays it detects any structural abnormality of the brain responsible for causing epilepsy e.g. brain tumor, brain TB. However as epilepsy, in a large number of people, is due to no known cause CT will be normal.

Q.28. What is MR Scan (Magnetic resonance imaging) (MRI) ?

Ans: MRI is an advanced method of imaging of the brain which can detect structural abnormality that are likely to be missed by CT scan. In particular MR scan is very useful in identifying small scars in the brain responsible for epilepsy and help in selecting patients with epilepsy for surgical treatment.

Q.29. What are radioisotopes, PET and SPECT ?

Ans: Radioisotopes are radio active materials injected into the vein and traced with either PET or SPECT with to detect areas of brain epileptic foci.