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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Definitive Diagnosis for Pediatric Epilepsy

Experts at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital have the skill, experience and technology to make a definitive epilepsy diagnosis, which is essential to developing the best treatment plan for your child.

At the Pediatric Epilepsy Center, our specialists will analyze results from your child's comprehensive diagnostic evaluation to:

  • Confirm or determine the definitive diagnosis
  • Determine which type of seizure your child is experiencing
  • Identify the root cause of the seizures your child is experiencing
  • Pinpoint the origin (also called the focus or source) of your child's seizures
  • Identify the area or areas of the brain affected by your child's seizures

This is all valuable information that will help our team of experts recommend effective treatment options to control your child's seizures.

Comprehensive Evaluation and Testing for Pediatric Epilepsy

At the Pediatric Epilepsy Center, we will conduct a thorough evaluation and diagnostic tests to gain as much knowledge as we can about your child's seizures. We offer testing even if your child has already been diagnosed with epilepsy.

This evaluation process may involve:

  • Individual and family medical history assessment
  • Physical exam
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Speech and auditory process evaluations

Individual and family medical history assessment

We will ask questions about your child’s and your immediate family members' medical history. We will also want to know as much as we can about your child’s seizures. Since he or she may not remember much, we want to gather information about the seizure symptoms from someone who was present when the seizure or seizures occurred.

As best you can, be prepared to answer questions like:

  • When did the seizure or seizures occur?
  • What symptoms did your child experience?
  • How long did the symptoms last?

Physical examination

The results of a physical exam can help us determine whether or not specific parts of your child’s brain are working properly. For example, if a child’s reflexes are not normal, it may indicate that some parts of the brain aren’t working as expected, which could help guide us to a specific diagnosis.

Diagnostic testing

Our epilepsy specialists may use a combination of tests to help confirm or determine whether your child has epilepsy.

Speech and auditory process evaluations

As a part of your child’s complete evaluation, we may perform speech and auditory processing evaluations to help us understand what types of treatment might be the most beneficial.