What is a video EEG test?
Video EEG (electroencephalogram) monitoring is a specialized kind of EEG used for diagnosing the cause of seizures. The patient is continuously monitored on a video while their brain activity is simultaneously recorded in an EEG unit.
The doctor studies and correlates EEG readings of the patient during a seizure and the recorded video of the patient’s behavior at the same time to arrive at a diagnosis.
Who is video EEG monitoring used for?
Video EEG monitoring is generally used for patients who continue to have seizures despite antiepileptic drugs. Because seizures are unpredictable, the patient must undergo continuous video EEG monitoring so that the doctor can track and view the event.
Video EEG monitoring helps the doctor to determine the cause of seizures, and decide on the appropriate course of treatment. Video EEG monitoring is used to find:
What are the conditions diagnosed with video EEG monitoring?
Conditions diagnosed with video EEG monitoring include:
- Temporal lobe epilepsy: This most common type of epilepsy starts as a localized seizure in the temporal lobe of the brain and may turn into a generalized seizure.
- Extratemporal epilepsy: Seizures that originate from any part of the brain other than the temporal lobe.
- Hemispheric syndromes: Widespread origin of seizures involving a whole hemisphere of the brain.
- Symptomatic generalized epilepsy: Caused by diffuse brain injury due to infection, congenital abnormality or oxygen deprivation during birth.
- Idiopathic generalized epilepsy: Known as primary generalized epilepsy — it is inherited.
- Psychogenic nonepileptic attacks (PNEAs): Occur due to psychological reasons and often misdiagnosed as epilepsy.
- Syncope: Fainting or blackout spells.
- Parasomnias: Sleep disorders.
- Hypnic jerks: Sleep starts that occur while falling asleep.
- Panic attacks: Seizure-like symptoms caused by anxiety.
- Nonepileptic myoclonus: Seizures that are not of brain origin and not visible on EEG.
- Hemifacial spasm: A muscle spasm that makes one side of the face twitch.
- Benign nonspecific symptoms: Benign, temporary seizure-like symptoms that resolve on their own.
Conditions specific to young children
- Tics: Sudden repetitive motor activity, which is common in children from five to 10 years of age.
- Shuddering attacks: Sudden jerky movements of the neck or body that may last up to 15 seconds.
- Cyanotic infantile syncope (breath-holding spells): Fainting after brief inability to inhale after a crying episode, typically in younger children up to five years of age.
- Gastroesophageal reflux: Reflux and vomiting due to laryngeal spasms that produce seizure-like symptoms.
- Benign myoclonus of infancy: Sudden muscle spasms and jerks that resolve on their own within a year.
- Mannerisms: Common in children with mental developmental issues.
- Spasmus nutans: Head nodding, head tilting and involuntary eye movements, found typically in babies up to 12 months.
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Top What Is a Video EEG Test Related Articles
Seizures QuizDo you know the difference between seizures and epilepsy? What are the types of seizures? Take the Epilepsy & Seizures Quiz to test your knowledge and learn about this complex disorder of the brain.
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:
- losing consciousness,
- 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.
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
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a technique used to treat epilepsy. It involves implanting a pacemaker-like device that generates pulses of electricity to stimulate the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is one of the 12 cranial nerves, the paired nerves that attach to the undersurface of the brain and relay information to and from the brain.