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Old 04-06-2011, 02:20 PM
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Normal EEG

My neurologist suspects that I may be having simple partial seizures. I went for my first EEG today and it came back normal. She said she isn't ruling out seizures but she wants to wait and see before putting me on meds. I'm 10 wks pregnant so she doesn't want to do an MRI. I am happy it came back normal but wish I had more definite answers. I still have so many unanswered questions. I go back in 2 months unless I have another episode. How many of you had a normal EEG? What was the next step? How long did it take to get a correct diagnosis?

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:21 PM
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I was also wondering if I should get a second opinion?

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:47 PM
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Hello, and welcome to the forum!

First, congratulations on your soon-to-be-expected baby!

It's not unusual to have a negative EEG when you are having partial seizures. The seizures could be happening too deep in the brain to be picked up by the electrodes.

IMHO, your doc is right to wait before putting you on meds. Usually a diagnosis of epilepsy requires two or more seizures. With luck, the one you had will be the only one. Trust me when I say that the anti-epileptic drugs are not a picnic. Lots of people take them and are seizure and side-effect free. But lots of people aren't.

It took me about 4 months to get an initial diagnosis, and we are still waiting a year later for a firm diagnosis.

A second opinion is never a bad idea. Not always needed, either. My only advice about a second doc is if your neurologist decides to put you on an anti-epileptic drug, if you can consult with a gyno who specializes in high-risk pregnancies and check with her before you take the anti-epileptic drug. That is, if you can get an appointment with her right away. Some doctors even specialize in epilepsy and pregnancy.

Lots of women in here have been on anti-epileptic drugs and given birth to normal, healthy babies. I'm sure they'll chime in soon.

Don't worry. It's going to be okay.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:00 PM
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I started having my symptoms 4 years ago but thought they were anxiety related and just brushed them off. I get an overwhelming sense of deja vu (it's like catching a glimpse of a t.v show in my head), tingling sensation throughout my body, unpleasant smell, bad taste and it ends with feeling very nauseous. They only last 45 seconds or so. I will get them in clusters. 3 or so in a weeks time and then nothing for a month or more. I never kept track of them before b/c I thought they were anxiety related. It wasn't until last month when I had 4 in 4 days that I wanted to talk to my doctor about them and came across simple partial seizures while researching anxiety w/ deja vu.

Thank you for all your info. What other tests did they do to determine you were having seizures?
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:02 PM
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Your story sounds very similar to mine, and my symptoms were blamed on anxiety, least until I crashed my car. And the only 'anxiety' medication that ever did do me any justice just happened to be Klonopin, an anticonvulsant.

Mine actually may start out as simple partials because I do get sort of a deja vu feeling right before, but then I get a funny taste in my mouth followed by a case of the dizzies, and with eyes wide open I just 'zone'. I do lose awareness and the ability to respond to those around me, so mine progress into complex partial seizures. And vomit with them on occasion, too.

I had a 24-hour ambulatory EEG and am hoping to get a 72-hour ambulatory EEG next, although my neurologist really wants to do the in-hospital video EEG. Thing is my seizures can be anywhere from 9 days to 37+ days apart, so 5 or 10 days in the hospital may not show anything anyway. Very frustrating...
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:46 AM
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My family and friends think that just b/c the EEG was normal I am fine and shouldn't worry. I really hope that is the case but that doesn't explain the episodes that I experience. I told them the neurologist said its normal to have a clean EEG and still have seizures but they don't want to hear it. I wish I could move on and not worry but I am worried. Thank you everyone for responding!
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:56 AM
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Anticonvulsant medications can cause birth defects especially in the first trimester so your neurologist is smart to avoid them. If you were constantly having seizures you and the neurologist would have to determine what the greater risk would be but since that does not sound like the situation just follow up in two months unless you have another seizure.

An EEG captures a moment in time. If you have constant epileptiform discharges then a diagnosis is easy to make. If the discharges are transient then they might be caught on a follow up EEG. Typically the number of EEGs required to make a diagnosis is at the discretion of the physician but after 3-4 normal EEGs it is very likely not epilepsy. However, one normal EEG does not rule out epilepsy.

It would be profoundly helpful in your diagnosis to have the EEG during one of your 'deja vu' spells. If you have prolonged 'deja vu' have your family call the neurologist and arrange an EEG right away. It does sound like simple partial epilepsy but the EEG will confirm. There are patients that have the symptoms you describe and it turns out to be pseudoseizures. Those are actually seizures, but not epilepsy. They are a physical manifestation (seizures) of anxiety/stress whereas epilepsy is abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Pseudoseizures would be more rare with the symptoms you describe however and epilepsy is more likely. In either case it is very treatable and is sounds as if your neurologist is very good.

Last edited by techtome; 04-08-2011 at 03:58 AM.
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