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Question
Posted by: Cherree | 2006/04/07

Epilepsy or Bipolar

My 15 yr old son told me he thought he was bipolar and had done research and therefore knew what the symptoms were. He asked me to hospitalise him a week later as he was feeling really bad. A psychiatrist then had an MRI scan (found to be normal) and an EEG done. According to the EEG he was diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and not Bipolar. A neurologist disagrees and said the EEG neither proves nor disproves he has epilepsy and must carry on with the medication with helps for both diseases. Neurologist agrees there is a chemical imbalance, but it is a phase which will go away, and since he has never had a fit he cannot be epileptic. How do I ascertain what it wrong when he presents with symptoms of both diseases.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Cherree
Temporal lobe epilepsy is not epilepsy as we generally know it ( falling down while fitting). It can present with emotional and concentration abnormalities as well as local fits(but only 50% do)
Auras occur in approximately 80% of temporal lobe seizures. this means that they can be hearing or seeing things abnormally or hallucinating. Patients may report distortions of shape, size, and distance of objects.
Patients may have a feeling a sense of familiarity or unfamiliarity
Patients may experience depersonalization (ie, feeling of detachment from oneself) or derealization (ie, surroundings appear unreal).
Fear or anxiety
Autonomic phenomena are characterized by changes in heart rate, hair standing upright, and sweating. Patients may experience nausea.
Physical:
Following the aura, a temporal lobe complex partial seizure begins with a wide-eyed, motionless stare, dilated pupils, you can see that they do things like lip smacking, chewing, and swallowing.
Patients may continue their activity or react to their surroundings in a semipurposeful manner. Patients usually experience a period of confusion
Most auras and automatisms last a very short period—seconds or 1-2 minutes. The postictal phase ( after a fit) may last for a longer period (several minutes). They cant remember that they had the episode.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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