Misdiagnosis of epilepsy | Diagnosing epilepsy | About epilepsy

Misdiagnosis of epilepsy

Diagnosing epilepsy can be difficult, as there are a wide range of conditions that look like epileptic seizures.

Sometimes faints (syncopal attacks) can have jerking movements and are often mistaken for seizures. Other conditions that can look similar to epilepsy include:

  • Irregular heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmia)
  • Migraine
  • Panic attacks
  • Night terrors
  • Breath holding attacks
  • Non-epileptic attacks

Non Epileptic Attack Disorder (NEAD)

This condition is not a type of epilepsy but can occur in people who have epilepsy.

Someone with NEAD has attacks that look similar to epileptic seizures, but they are not caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain or by another medical cause. NEAD attacks can cause black outs, falls, loss of bladder control and are associated with injuries.

Helpline: 01342 831342 (Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm)
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The numbers of young people who are 25 years and under with epilepsy is around 112,000.

Cyber EssentialsFundraising RegulatorYoung Epilepsy is the operating name of The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy Charitable Trust.
Registered Charity number 311877 (England and Wales)

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