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New Epilepsy Emergency Room Guideline

A new guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology recommends immediate brain CT scans to screen certain emergency room patients with seizures. Evidence shows such scans can help doctors select the right treatment option. The guideline is published in the October 30, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The guideline suggests physicians consider an emergency CT scan in adults and children with a first seizure because evidence shows the results will change how these people are treated in up to 17 percent of adult cases and up to eight percent of cases involving children.

Abnormalities found on CT scans that would lead to a change in treatment include: tumors, traumatic brain injury with skull fracture, and stroke including bleeding in the brain.

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