Here is the answer--though I would still hook them up to an EEG. Neither an MRI nor CT will show anything extraordinary other than lesions that are epileptogenic, or alter the personality.
1. If the person is not talking, is not responsive, has a period of tonus/clonus--it is a Generalized tonic clonic seizure.
2. If the person is still talking, is responsive to stimuli, and has period of "clonus"--it is a Pseudoseizure and the person is either a malingerer or suffering from a psychiatric condition.
3. If the person is unresponsive for a period without tonus/clonus--it is an "absence" or Partial Complex seizure.
4. If the person retains consciousness but has all sort of what seems like odd things like sudden personality change, bizarre smells and taste, déjà vu or its opposite--which is not vujà dé--jamais vu--it is a Simple Partial, often temporal lobe, seizure and/or psychiatric. Malingering is a diagnosis of exclusion.
5. As above: absent those documentable epileptic events, either a psychiatric disorder--which tends to have different history and not conform to seizure patterns--various lesions and diseases that affect the brain--like the classic Wilson's disease--or malingering.
"Malingering" generally connotes a conscious effort to fool for some secondary gain. However, you will find cases, particularly in abused children, who have developed all sorts of seemingly bizarre apparent neurological symptoms secondary to abuse. These, again, tend not to always fit a seizure. Less enlightened times these were "hysteria" and/or "possession."
[Edited to correct the absence of the "or" after the "either."--Ed.]
Last edited by Doctor X on Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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