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Seizures Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Seizures. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. When did you have your first seizure?
  2. How many seizures have you had in total?
  3. Has a seizure ever been witnessed by an observer, and if so can they explain
  4. What happens during a seizure?

    Why: e.g. loss of consciousness, various movements, incontinent of urine or feces, bite tongue, drowsy after the attack, residual weakness of the limbs after he attack- The diagnosis of epilepsy is made on the history rather than the EEG so very detailed description of the events from eye witnesses is important.

  5. Is there a loss of consciousness?

    Why: This helps determine the type of seizure. Loss of consciousness is a feature of generalized seizures. In complex partial seizures, consciousness is clouded so that the person does not recall the complete seizure.

  6. Are muscle jerking movements involved?

    Why: This helps determine the type of seizure e.g. muscle jerking is involved in tonic clonic seizures, clonic seizures, absence seizures (muscle jerking is minor, and mainly of the face) and myoclonic seizures.

  7. If muscle jerking movements are involved, which muscles in the body are involved?

    Why: This helps determine the type of seizure e.g. If a seizure begins with focal muscle jerking, it is a partial seizure.

  8. When do the seizures occur?

    Why: e.g. at night, in bed, after exposure to computer and video games.

  9. What factors may tend to trigger the seizures?

    Why: e.g. fatigue, lack of sleep, stress, physical exhaustion, excess alcohol, prolonged flashing lights.

  10. Is there a prodromal period lasting hours or days preceding the seizure?

    Why: e.g. change in mood or behavior - The presence of a prodromal period adds weight to the diagnosis of epilepsy, but does not help distinguish the type.

  11. Is there an aura, which immediately precedes the seizure?

    Why: The presence of an aura may help distinguish the type of epilepsy. An aura may be a strange feeling in the gut, or a sensation, or an experience such as déjà vu (a disturbing sense of familiarity). An aura implies a partial seizure, often, but not necessarily, temporal lobe epilepsy.

  12. Is there any residual muscle weakness in the affected limbs after the seizure?

    Why: may suggest a Jacksonian convulsion which is when a seizure involves the part of the brain responsible for movement.

  13. What are the details of the birth and new born period?

    Why: e.g. lack of oxygen during childbirth may cause medial temporal sclerosis which is a cause of seizures.

  14. History of head injury?

    Why: Head injury is sometimes followed by epilepsy within the first week or many months or years after.

  15. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. brain metastases may cause seizures. The most common sites of origin are lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, kidney and bowel; medical conditions that may cause seizures include stroke, high blood pressure, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, polyarteritis nodosa, sarcoid, low blood sugar, chronic renal failure, porphyria, low blood sodium, high blood sodium, low blood calcium, liver disease, encephalitis, syphilis and HIV.

  16. Medications?

    Why: e.g. some medications may lower the seizure threshold or cause seizures in overdose including phenothiazines, tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and lignocaine; withdrawal of benzodiazepines such as valium may cause seizures.

  17. Alcohol history?

    Why: e.g. alcohol withdrawal may cause seizures; excess alcohol may trigger seizures in an epileptic person.

  18. Illicit drug history?

    Why: e.g. cocaine may cause seizures; marijuana use can trigger seizures in epileptic people.

  19. Family history?

    Why: About 30% of people with epilepsy have a history of seizures in first degree relatives.

  20. Occupational history?

    Why: e.g. people with epilepsy can hold down most jobs, but if they are liable to seizures they should not work close to heavy machinery, in dangerous surroundings, at heights (e.g. on ladders) or near deep water. Careers are not available in some services, such as police, military, aviation or public transport.

  21. Recreational activities?

    Why: Most activities are fine, but epileptics should avoid dangerous sports such as scuba diving, hang gliding, parachuting, rock climbing, car racing and swimming in the surf alone.

  22. Fever?

    Why: may suggest meningitis, encephalitis or brain abscess. High fevers in children under the age of 5 years are sometimes associated with generalized seizures (febrile convulsions).

  23. Headache?

    Why: may suggest brain tumor, brain abscess, brain hemorrhage or hydrocephalus.

  24. Symptoms of petit mal seizures (absences)?

    Why: e.g. brief (10 second) pauses such as stopping talking mid sentence and then carrying on when left off; sudden onset and termination.

  25. Symptoms of tonic-clonic seizures (classic grand mal)?

    Why: e.g. sudden onset, loss of consciousness, limbs stiffen (tonic) then limbs jerk (clonic), drowsy afterwards.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Seizures:

The following list of conditions have 'Seizures' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Seizures or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Conditions listing medical complications: Seizures:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Seizures' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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