Before any tests and diagnosis to be performed in order to diagnose grand mal seizures, the doctor will get a complete medical history from your complains, symptoms, and your description about your seizure episodes. The medical history of the patient is very crucial in the diagnosis of grand mal seizures. Usually, patients with grand mal seizures can’t remember their seizure episodes since they lose their consciousness. In getting the description of the seizure episode/s, it should be from a person or people who witnessed the episode. Triggering factors (loud noise, stress, sleep deprivation, etc) will be determined during the taking of medical history, however, most cases of grand mal seizures do not have any consistent triggering factors.
Neurological Examination for Grand Mal Seizures
Grand Mal Seizures
During a neurological exam, tests will be done to evaluate the present condition of patient’s reflexes, muscle tone and strength, sensory functions, gait, posture, coordination, and balance. During neurological exam, the doctor may also perform tests to evaluate patient’s thinking, memory, and judgment skills.
Blood Tests for Grand Mal Seizures
Blood tests are done to determine levels of various blood components to determine possible triggering factors for episodes of grand mal seizures. Blood tests can also help in finding other medical problems the patient is suffering, aside from grand mal seizures.
Electroencephalogram (EEG) for Grand Mal Seizures
Electroencephalogram or EEG is a type of brain scan that measures brain’s electrical activity through electrodes placed on patient’s scalp. For patients suffering from grand mal seizures associated with epilepsy, they usually have abnormal patterns of brain waves even if they are do not have any seizure episodes. There are times that a patient will be recommended to stay in the hospital for video-EEG. Video-EEG monitoring will allow the doctor to record brain wave patterns during seizure episodes and during non-seizure episodes. Video-EEG monitoring will help in determining the exact type of seizure disorder and in choosing the most appropriate treatment methods.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for Grand Mal Seizures
Although most patients with known grand mal seizures have normal results to a Magnetic Resonance Imaging test, MRI will be very helpful in determining clues on what could be the cause for the patient’s episodes of grand mal seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging for grand mal seizures is done to produce detailed images of the brain by using strong magnetic fields. MRI is a painless diagnostic procedure, but requires a patient to lie on a padded platform and entered in a tube-like machine. People who are claustrophobic (fear of small spaces) should tell their doctor before the exam.