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Imitators Of Epilepsy

Robert S. Fisher

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AbstractEpilepsy is common, but conditions that imitate epilepsy are even more common. In order to make a correct diagnosis of epilepsy, the clinician must carefully elicit a detailed history of the seizure episode. Realizing the overlap that exists between seizures that define epilepsy and those of other psychiatric conditions can also help in differentiating between epilepsy and an imitator of epilepsy. Deciphering the features of a seizure episode is also key to correct diagnosis.In this article, the physiological and psychological imitators of epilepsy are described, as well as the features of a seizure episode that should be considered in making a diagnosis. Seizure presentations are also explained followed by a description of common diagnostic pitfalls to avoid.