Understanding Epilepsy

Epilepsy affects roughly 1.2% of people in the United States, making it the fourth most common neurological disorder. Symptoms can start at any age and vary from person to person. In most cases, there’s no clear cause, but factors such as low oxygen at birth, brain tumors, head injuries, stroke, and genetics may contribute. 

Thankfully, even without knowing the precise cause, we can offer numerous effective treatments.

If you’ve been experiencing signs of epilepsy, call us at Michigan Neurology Associates or contact us by using our online form. If you or a loved one has had more than one seizure or are struggling to breathe, call 911.

Epilepsy diagnosis

Getting a diagnosis of epilepsy typically starts with a physical exam, during which you discuss your symptoms and overall health and medical history. Our team of doctors may also order tests, such as bloodwork and an electroencephalogram (EEG) to confirm the diagnosis.

If you meet any of the following criteria, you may have epilepsy:

At Michigan Neurology Associates, our team conducts a thorough neurological exam to test your motor function and mental health. We also offer routine one-hour EEGs, 24/48/72-hour ambulatory EEGs, and three-day inpatient epilepsy monitoring stays to pinpoint what’s happening.

Epilepsy symptoms

While everyone with epilepsy experiences seizures, the episodes themselves can vary quite a bit in specifics. Behaviors and sensations brought on by epileptic seizures may include:

Just before a seizure, you might notice a sense of déjà vu, fear, or panic.

Epilepsy treatment

Treatment for epilepsy depends on the type and symptoms you’re experiencing, as well as the seriousness of your condition. Regardless, treatment aims to reduce seizures while staving off injuries and complications, making way for better life quality. 

Our team at Michigan Neurology Associates creates custom treatment plans that often start with a medication to reduce the frequency and severity of your seizures. We might also suggest adopting a dietitian-monitored ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. 

If your symptoms are difficult to manage with medications and lifestyle changes alone, you may be a good candidate for a surgically placed device, such as a vagus nerve stimulator.

Learn more about epilepsy and its treatments by reaching out to us at Michigan Neurology Associates today.

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