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About 8 to 10 percent of the population is at risk of experiencing a seizure in their lifetime and 1 to 2 percent of all emergencies are seizure-related. These numbers are dangerously high, considering the seriousness of any form of seizure.

The major goal of the examination is to determine if a patient's initial seizure was caused by a curable systemic disorder or an intrinsic nervous system failure. If it is the latter, determining the kind of underlying brain disease is the prime objective.

Neuroimaging should be performed as soon as an intracranial lesion is suspected, especially in patients with a new focal deficit or persistent altered mental state, fever, chronic headache, focal-onset seizures, a history of acute head trauma, cancer, a compromised immune system, alcoholism, anticoagulation or bleeding.

Seizures are widespread, affecting an estimated 8 to 10% of the population during their lifetime. Seizures account for 1 to 2% of all emergency room visits, with around one-quarter of these being a first seizure.

Differential Diagnosis