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How is a video EEG performed?
A video EEG (electroencephalograph) monitoring is a diagnostic procedure using EEG and video recordings simultaneously in order to monitor seizure activity. A video EEG monitoring is usually performed in a hospital because it is performed for a prolonged period. The duration of the video EEG monitoring depends on the frequency of the seizures.
- Frequent episodes: outpatient procedure lasting up to eight hours of daytime monitoring, optimally when the patient is sleep deprived.
- Infrequent episodes: hospitalization for a longer period of monitoring that may last several days.
- The patient must wash their hair thoroughly and avoid using oil or hairspray.
- The patient must check with the doctor before taking any regular medications.
- The doctor may reduce or discontinue any antiepileptic drugs the patient takes in order to increase the chances of a seizure episode during the monitoring period.
- A registered EEG technician glues to the patient’s scalp, electrodes that have conductive gel on them.
- The electrodes are covered with a cap or gauze dressing.
- The electrodes are connected to an EEG unit with a cord, or a wireless system may be used.
- The technician checks to make sure the electrodes are functioning properly.
- The room will have a wall-mounted camera that continuously records the patient’s activity.
- The camera may be covered or put off when privacy is required.
- Most patients are free to move about on their own or with assistance, depending on their condition.
- A few patients may require some kind of restraint in bed. This is for their own safety, since activity during a seizure may be unpredictable, especially if antiepileptic drugs are withdrawn.
- Patients are encouraged to carry on normal daily activities including activities that are likely to trigger a seizure.
- A parent or a family member is usually present with the patient.
- The patient is provided with a buzzer that can be activated by the attendant at the onset of a seizure episode or if assistance is required.
- Certain techniques may be undertaken to induce a seizure episode during the monitoring, since its occurrence is essential for diagnosis and effective treatment. The patient will be informed prior to use of such techniques.
- The duration of video EEG monitoring will depend on seizure occurrence and adequate collection of seizure-related data.
The EEG and video recordings can be viewed simultaneously on an EEG monitor. Computer detection software is used to identify abnormal brain activity in the EEG data, greatly reducing the quantity of raw data to be studied. The registered technician analyzes and compiles the data. An epileptologist uses the findings from the video EEG monitoring to diagnose and formulate a course of treatment.
What are the limitations and risks of a video EEG?
Video EEG monitoring is a powerful diagnostic tool, but it has certain limitations:
- Errors in EEG interpretation can occur, leading to misdiagnosis.
- Certain types of partial seizures may not show activity in EEG.
- Results of the video EEG may fail to provide a conclusive diagnosis.
- Withdrawal of antiepileptic drugs or techniques to induce seizure pose potential risks to the patient that include the following:
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Febrile SeizuresFebrile seizures, or convulsions caused by fever, can be frightening in small children or infants. However, in general, febrile seizures are harmless. Febrile seizure is not epilepsy. It is estimated that one in every 25 children will have at least one febrile seizure. It is important to know what to do to help your child if he/she has a febrile seizure. Some of the features of a febrile seizure include:
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- moving limbs on both sides of the body,
- lasts 1-2 minutes.
First Aid for SeizuresSome seizures are caused by:
- brain diseases,
- genetic conditions, or
- other illnesses or disorders that can be diagnosed (symptomatic seizures).
- foods or medications,
- lack of sleep,
- dehydration, or
- sensitivity to light.
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Migraines and Seizures (Symptoms, Auras, Medication)Migraines are a type of headache and seizures are the main symptom of epilepsy. Migraine headaches and seizures are two different neurological problems that have similar signs, symptoms, and auras, for example, sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound, irritability, nausea, and vomiting.
Symptoms unique to migraine and migraine auras are water retention, problems sleeping, appetite changes, and talkativeness. Symptoms unique to seizure and seizures auras are depression, a feeling of heaviness, a feeling that a seizure is approaching, and depression.
Many of the symptoms of migraine and seizures are the same, however, seizures do not cause migraines; however, people who have seizures are twice as likely to have migraines and vice-versa. People who have migraines are twice as likely to have seizures, and people with seizures are twice as likely to have migraines; however, one condition does not cause the other.
Seizure (Epilepsy)Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which the person has seizures. There are two kinds of seizures, focal and generalized. There are many causes of epilepsy. Treatment of epilepsy (seizures) depends upon the cause and type of seizures experienced.
Seizure vs. Seizure Disorders (Differences and Similarities)
The differences between a seizure, epilepsy, and seizure disorders are confusing to many people. What makes it more confusing, is that they are not the same thing. A seizure begins suddenly, and is a symptom of another disease. When a seizure occurs there is uncontrolled activity in the brain that usually only lasts for a short period. While a seizure disorder is a medical condition, in which the person has episodes of uncontrolled activity in the brain producing symptoms that include one or more seizures. Epilepsy is considered a seizure disorder.
There are two types of major seizures, generalized and partial seizure type and the symptoms depend upon the part of the brain affected, and may include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Thought disturbances
- Eye rolling
- Stiff limbs
- Twitching on only one side or a portion of the body like an arm or leg.
- Involuntary urination or bowel movement
- Repetitive shaking or jerking of the body
- Staring into space, sometimes with eye blinking
- No loss of consciousness, but the person becomes confused for a few minutes
A third type of seizure is called unclassified seizure.
Seizure disorders are classified under two types of major seizures (generalized and partial), and a third type called unclassified seizures. There are about 40 types of named seizure disorders. The symptoms and signs are different depending on the part of the brain affected by the seizure. Examples of seizure disorders are:
- Febrile seizures
- Benign Rolandic epilepsy
- Catamenial epilepsy
- Absence seizures
- Frontal lobe epilepsy
Sometimes there is a known cause for a seizure like alcohol, cocaine or other illegal drug abuse, drug reactions, a severe chemical imbalance in the blood, or medical problems like low blood pressure. Treatment, management, and prevention of seizures include medication and avoiding any known causes or common triggers.
CDC. "Types of Seizures." Updated: Apr 10, 2017.
Harvard Health Publications; Harvard Medical School. "Generalized Seizures (Grand Mal Seizures)."
Seizures Symptoms and TypesSeizures are divided into two categories: generalized and partial. Generalized seizures are produced by electrical impulses from throughout the brain, while partial seizures are produced by electrical impulses in a small part of the brain. Seizure symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, and muscle rigidity.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) for Seizures
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