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Shvoong Home>Medicine & Health>Absence seizure Screening and diagnosis Review

Absence seizure Screening and diagnosis

Article Review   by:Indiana003     Original Author: Dr.R.Raghavendra
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Some children experience episodes that resemble absence seizures, but aren''t
truly seizures. This most often occurs in children with mental retardation,
autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Nonepileptic staring spells
usually occur when the child is bored or involved in quiet activities such as
sitting in class or watching television. These episodes can be interrupted by
calling the child''s name or by touching his or her shoulder. True absence
seizures, on the other hand, cannot be interrupted by voice or touch. They also
often occur right in the middle of a child''s conversation or physical activity.
For a proper diagnosis, your doctor will ask for a detailed description of your
child''s seizures. Blood tests can help rule out other potential causes of
seizures, such as a chemical imbalance or the presence of toxic substances.
Other tests may include: Electroencephalography (EEG). This
painless procedure measures the waves of electrical activity in the brain. The
brain waves are transmitted to the EEG machine via small electrodes attached to
the scalp with paste or an elastic cap. Your child may be asked to
hyperventilate or look at flickering lights, in an attempt to provoke a
seizure. Brain scans. Tests such as magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) can produce very detailed images of the
brain, which can help rule out other types of problems such as a stroke or a
brain tumor. These tests aren''t painful, but your child will need to hold very
still for up to an hour. Most children under five years old are sedated during
these tests.
Published: September 23, 2007   
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