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Epilepsy

Finding out about syndrome

12/20/2006

Question:

How do I find out what syndrome of epilepsy I have?

Answer:

This is an excellent question. In order to determine the epilepsy syndrome, one needs to look at a number of factors. These include: age of onset, seizure types (including symptoms), EEG abnormalities and MRI abnormalities.

There are many specific named epilepsy syndromes, but there are many that do not have specific names. There are two major categories of epilepsy syndromes. These are partial epilepsies and generalized epilepsies. Basically partial epilepsies have seizures that start in a focal area of the brain (like the temporal lobe). Generalized epilepsies have seizures that do not start in a focal area of the brain, but rather the seizures start in all areas of the brain. We like to determine partial versus generalized because it determines which seizure medication is used. You can find more information about epilepsy syndromes by clicking on the web link below.

Related Resources:

Epilepsy Foundation: Syndromes

For more information:

Go to the Epilepsy health topic, where you can:

Response by:

David M Ficker, MD David M Ficker, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati