Epilepsy Diagnosis

If you have epilepsy, you need the care and expertise of a specialized group of physicians who work together as a team to provide advanced care.

U.S.News and World Report ranks Fletcher Allen's Neurology and Neurosurgery specialties as High Performing in 2011. To earn this distinction, performance must be competitive with the level of nationally ranked U.S. News Best Hospitals.

Epilepsy is diagnosed and treated by our highly skilled provider team, including:

  • Adult and pediatric epilepsy specialists
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Neuroradiologists

Epilepsy Diagnosis in Burlington, VT

Epilepsy is diagnosed using a range of tests:

  • Neurological and behavioral exam – A neurologist will conduct a comprehensive physical exam, which could include assessing your hearing, vision, balance, motor skills, behavior and other factors
  • Blood tests – Certain diseases and conditions can contribute to seizures such as anemia, diabetes, an infection or electrolyte imbalance
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) – Epilepsy is diagnosed using this test more often than any other.  An EEG records your brain wave activity. 
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan – Fletcher Allen offers some of the most advanced CT technology available today. We provide highly accurate, comprehensive images of your brain and skull within seconds.  A CT scan may show brain problems that cause a seizure such as a tumor , bleeding or a cyst.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce cross-sectional images of your body. Fletcher Allen offers the latest technology in Open MRI, offering a comfortable option for patients who prefer an open setting. This test is a more detailed version of the CT scan. 
  • Functional MRI (fMRI) – The blood flow changes when different parts of your brain work. The fMRI measures these changes.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) – PET scans allow the doctor to see parts of your brain that are working by injecting a little low-dose radioactive substance.
  • Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) – Typically SPECT is the second option if an EEG or MRI couldn’t determine where the seizures start in your brain. This test, like the PET scan, also uses a little low-dose radioactive substance.
  • Neuropsychological tests – These tests are often done before epilepsy surgery to measure intelligence, memory and speech, which helps doctors determine where the seizures start in your brain.

Learn more about epilepsy treatment options.

For more information, call (802) 847-4590.

If you are a referring physician, please see our epilepsy referral information.