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Could this be epilepsy?

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Old 12-08-2005, 04:18 PM   #1
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needtoescape HB User
Could this be epilepsy?

My husband is 57 years old and has been having several strange things happening. We do have an appt. with a neurologist at the end of December. These are the symptoms:

some episodes of confusion (couldn't remember how to write a check, couldn't calculate a tip on a restaurant bill)
feeling "fuzzy headed" and "disconnected"
memory problems
lots of weak/dizzy spells
some episodes that started with a strong smell, then proceeded to waves of heat in his arms/legs, and then with nausea - and left him feeling weird and disconnected; he had 3 or 4 of these in one night and felt very strange the next day.

Prior to the episodes that started with the smell, I was wondering about early onset alzheimers and/or transient ischemic attacks. Then when he had the episodes that begin with the smell, I began to wonder about epilepsy. When I read that strokes and Alzheimers could both be causes of epilepsy, that didn't comfort me much... I mentioned to his regular doc. that I wondered about epilepsy, and he acted like I was crazy.

What do you think? Do you think this could be epilepsy? From what I've read, the symptoms could fit a simple partial seizure.

I also read that about half of people with epilepsy have a normal EEG - so how does the doctor make the diagnosis?? Mostly from what the patient/family tell them?

I hope that this is just some medication issue (he's got a weak heart and is on a bunch of meds) but if I had to hear a diagnosis of Alzheimers or Epilepsy - I would prefer to hear epilepsy.. It really freaked me out a bit when he said he sat down to write checks and couldn't remember how to make out the check.. His dad had Alzheimers, but at a much older age.

Any input is appreciated.

P.S. My screen name has nothing to do with hubby's situation. My own problems have been with depression and the name relates to that.

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Old 12-08-2005, 06:08 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Dayville, Ct. USA
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kayakmom HB User
Re: Could this be epilepsy?

Hoping the neuro can give you a clear answer. Sure sounds like tests are needed to figure this all out.

Diagnosis is based on combining several factors, Eye witness accounts of the events, patient's accounts, family history and EEG and MRI. You are right that it is possible to have normal EEG if there is not a seizure during the test. Some types are more likely to be normal in between seizures than others.

Alzheimers is heredetary, it can also predispose someone to epilepsy if they have Alzheimers. Both are a tough diagnosis but it is important to start treatment as soon as possible so you are on the right road seeing the doctor!

I really hope you get answers soon!
mom of 2 teens who have battled seiuzres.

Old 12-08-2005, 08:14 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 230
needtoescape HB User
Re: Could this be epilepsy?

Thanks kayakmom. (My hubby used to do a lot of canoeing and some kayaking too, before he had a heart attack.)

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