New guideline for how to treat a person's first unprovoked seizure

November 19, 2007

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology recommends a routine electroencephalogram (EEG) and brain scans be considered when diagnosing and treating adults who experience their first unprovoked seizure. Evidence shows such tools often detect brain abnormalities that caused the seizure and predict seizure recurrence. The guideline is published in the November 20, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Since even one seizure is a frightening, traumatic event with serious potential consequences, such as loss of driving privileges, limitations for employment and bodily injury, information about optimal, evidence-based approaches for treating people with a seizure is important," said guideline author Allan Krumholz, MD, a neurologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

To develop the guideline, the authors analyzed all available scientific studies on the topic.

The guideline recommends a routine EEG be considered as part of the diagnosis of a person with a first unprovoked seizure. "Evidence shows an EEG revealed abnormalities indicating epilepsy in about one in four patients and was predictive of seizure recurrence," said Krumholz, who is also a professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The guideline also recommends CT or MRI brain scans be routinely considered since the scans are significantly abnormal in one of 10 patients, helping to indicate the cause of their seizure. "A CT scan or MRI may lead to the diagnosis of disorders such as a brain tumor, stroke, an infection, or other structural lesions and may help determine a person's risk for a second seizure," said Krumholz.

For adults who experience their first unprovoked seizure, Krumholz says the results of an EEG, CT or MRI will influence aspects of patient care and management, including drug treatment, patient and family counseling, and the need for immediate hospitalization and subsequent follow-up.

Seizures are among the most common serious neurological disorders cared for by neurologists. Annually approximately 150,000 adults will have a first seizure in the United States. It is estimated that in 40 to 50 percent of these people, seizures recur and are classified as epilepsy.
-end-
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 20,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as epilepsy, dystonia, migraine, Huntington's disease, and dementia.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit www.aan.com.

American Academy of Neurology

Related MRI Articles from Brightsurf:

Does MRI have an environmental impact?
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have surveyed the amount of gadolinium found in river water in Tokyo.

MRI predict intelligence levels in children?
A group of researchers from the Skoltech Center for Computational and Data-Intensive Science and Engineering (CDISE) took 4th place in the international MRI-based adolescent intelligence prediction competition.

7T MRI offers new insights into multiple sclerosis
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital have completed a new study using 7 Tesla (7T) MRI -- a far more powerful imaging technology -- to further examine LME in MS patients

Magnetic eyelashes: A new source of MRI artifacts
American Journal of Roentgenology researchers used a phantom to show that magnetic eyelashes worn during MRI can cause substantial artifact and that detachment of the eyelashes from the phantom can occur.

High-strength MRI tracks MS progression
The development of scars, or lesions, in the brain's cortical gray matter is a powerful predictor of neurological disability for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new study.

Non-contrast MRI is effective in monitoring MS patients
Brain MRI without contrast agent is just as effective as the contrast-enhanced approach for monitoring disease progression in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study.

Researchers use MRI to predict Alzheimer's disease
MRI brain scans perform better than common clinical tests at predicting which people will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Monitoring electromagnetic signals in the brain with MRI
MIT engineers have devised a new technique to detect either electrical activity or optical signals in the brain, using a minimally invasive technique based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

MRI 'glove' provides new look at hand anatomy
A new kind of MRI component in the shape of a glove delivers the first clear images of bones, tendons and ligaments moving together.

Why we need erasable MRI scans
Gas-filled protein structures could one day be used as 'erasable' contrast agents for MRI scans.

Read More: MRI News and MRI Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.