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Seer Medical

Why is video used to diagnose seizures?

Video provides clarity

Video-EEG-ECG testing is recommended when the cause of events is not clear, and you need to determine whether the events are epileptic, non-epileptic, or events that look like seizures but are not. 

Eye-witness accounts of events are extremely important for understanding what is happening. Most of the time there are no witnesses when an event occurs, and even if there are, the accounts are not always reliable as the viewer doesn’t know what to look for or doesn’t remember accurately. 

The advantage of video-EEG monitoring comes from recording video simultaneously to EEG data. Having both points of data — what’s happening in the brain and to the body — provides doctors with an understanding of what could be causing the events. 

  • How someone’s body behaves may look like a seizure, but the brain activity may not lead to a diagnosis of epilepsy, or even seizures
  • Seizure activity can be happening in the brain, but the behaviour of the body does not obviously look like a seizure to an observer

Referencing an objective video recording with EEG data can clear up confusion. 

Video can change an initial diagnosis

A study on the usefulness of using video recording with EEG recording found that the results from monitoring can have a significant effect on the initial diagnosis (58% changed the diagnosis) or management of their condition (73% adjusted management plan). 

The greatest change was the increase in people who were diagnosed with non-epileptic events after VEEG monitoring (from 7% before testing to 31% after testing). This means that an initial diagnosis of epilepsy may in fact be changed to a diagnosis of non-epileptic events after VEEG testing.

An accurate diagnosis means that people can get appropriate care and avoid unnecessary treatments and medications.