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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Physician / Surgeon
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Surgeon / Neurological Surgery
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What can cause seizure like episodes

Customer Question

My friend has had multiple seizures in the past year, now worse than ever, dilantin and depakote levels are therapeutic, MRI shows a bone spur at the base of her skull, CT was normal, labs are all normal. She has a lot of pain to her spine and legs, when these episodes occur her heart rate generally becomes tachycardic, her O2 sat drops, she draws inward with her hands and feet, sometimes is incontinent, becomes rigid and jerks. Her spouse has been abusive recently though she won't go into detail about that with anyone. We both work in a hospital her an RN and me an LPN, we are all completely stumped with this and the DR's. We have shipped her to other hospitals and no one can figure it out. Please help me I am terribly worried about her.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
While it will be impossible to figure this out (especially if the specialists are having a hard time):

Has she had an extended EEG - a 24 hour or longer EEG monitoring at a hosptial?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes she has last week, she has also been recieving ativan iv with seizures and they do not change.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Did this EEG show areas of abnormal firing in the brain?

Does the ativan stop the seizure activity?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
normal EEG and the ativan does nothing
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Right there -- that is a problem.

You can't have actual seizures with a normal EEG.

Seizures, by definition, are abnormal firing of the brain electrical signals -- which causes uncontrolled electric discharge of brain cortex - causing the uncontrolled movements of the limbs and unconsciousness.

A normal EEG rules out actual seizure activity.

Perhaps they have considered pseduoseizures:
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I believe they have considered that due to stress and anxiety but it just seems like nothing is helping. I visited her today and she had a total of 5 episodes in about 3 hours. She nor I believe that this is seizure activity at this point, today a psychiatrist consulted with her and ordered an EMG and an MRI of her lumbar spine and her right hip to check for any type of blockage. This girl is terrified at this point.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
new symptoms.....she was discharged home last week and an ARNP was able to get her in to see a specialist in a bigger hospital, good right? No, the specialty was epilepsy, we already knew that was not the diagnosis. Now her Lt. arm is drawn in toward the center of her body just like her Rt. leg, her Rt. foot is swelling (2-3+) and turning purple at times. She is also suffering a lot of joint pain now allover joint pain. Can someone PLEASE help me to help her. I am seriously afraid this girl is going to die if the problem isn't found.

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