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Epilepsy – X-Ray, MRI Testing

February 11, 2022


And it helps to have the patient who may not even recognize what’s going on. And one of the difficult things that we have in epilepsy is that the organ, your brain involved in recognizing what’s going on and in the environment and recognizing something isn’t right. It’s the organ that’s not working right. And so inherently there’s a problem, they’re often in recognition by the patient themselves as to what’s going on. So, that being said, the history is probably the most important part of what I need. But I’ll augment that with other studies. The next thing that I’ll want is an MRI of the brain. A CT scan can work, but an MRI is much more sensitive and much better. I’ll point out a CT scan is as an x-ray where they take slices through your head and we can image the skull really well, but the brain is a little bit harder to see with x rays. Where an is a giant magnet. And it doesn’t show the bone very well, but the brain itself, we see with exquisite detail. And what I’m looking for. I can’t see seizures with an MRI. But what I can see is structural abnormalities in the brain that I know would be associated with seizures, certain types of stroke. Again, I’ll point out not all strokes can cause seizures, but some can. Brain tumors, scar tissue, and sometimes very subtle scar tissue, but we can pick it up. So an MRI would be really useful. I will point out that for a new seizure patient, we usually want to do these studies with contrast. Contrast is really important. This is where they give you an IV and they inject contrast into your veins. And the idea is that can be much more sensitive for picking up things like brain tumors that we wouldn’t necessarily pick up with a normal scan.

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