Tests and Diagnosis

The Emory Epilepsy Center offers comprehensive epilepsy diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation services. The Center uses a combination of both time-tested and groundbreaking diagnostic tools to identify the causes, type and severity of your epilepsy. These tools include, beginning with the least invasive and most common:

Routine EEG (Electroencephalography) 

By recording the electrical activity of your brain, an EEG can determine if abnormal brainwaves - that could aid in the diagnosis of seizures and other neurologic disorders - are present.

Ambulatory EEG

By wearing electrodes at home for a period of 48-72 hours that monitor the electrical activity of your brain, you can provide your doctors with valuable information about your condition. Ambulatory EEG captures your brain activity during typical spells/seizures, so your care team can accurately diagnose and effectively treat you.

Structural Neuroimaging

A major diagnostic service of the Emory Epilepsy Center and Emory Department of Radiology, structural neuroimaging (such as MRI) detects lesions and biochemical dysfunction that cause epilepsy.

Functional Imaging

Functional imaging tests - such as positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and functional MRI (fMRI) scans - map your blood flow, energy use and membrane receptors in specific brain regions.

Neuropsychological Testing

Targeted testing measures the severity of memory loss and other cognitive challenges sometimes related to epilepsy.

Inpatient Video EEG

If your seizures have not responded well to medical treatment, or there is doubt about a prior diagnosis of epilepsy, your physician may gain a clearer understanding through inpatient video EEG (which combines continuous EEG and video monitoring). Video EEG can help clinicians pinpoint the affected area of the brain and determine the most effective course of treatment.

Because a high degree of expertise is required to interpret findings of this test correctly, hospitalization is required during testing. While spending 3-5 days in Emory's Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU), anti-seizure medications are reduced, allowing for observation of your typical seizures or spells in a safe, monitored environment.

If you've been previously misdiagnosed with epilepsy, video-EEG monitoring can point the way to a more appropriate and effective treatment plan. When epilepsy is present, accurate diagnosis can lead to the most effective treatment for the observed seizure type.

Video-EEG monitoring may also be performed as part of the pre-surgical workup if your seizures don't respond to antiepileptic medication. This allows our physicians to determine if options beyond medication (such as surgery or neurostimulation devices) would be a suitable option to treat your epilepsy.

How Can We Help You Today?

Need help? We will be delighted to assist you today, so please call us at 404-778-7777. We look forward to hearing from you.