What is frontal lobe epilepsy?
In the case of frontal lobe epilepsy, seizures originate in the frontal lobe of the brain. Depending on where the seizure starts, each patient may have variable types of seizures. It becomes important to determine:
- Side of dominance
- Side of seizure onset
- Region where the frontal lobe is affected
Once these have been determined, surgery to further map the frontal lobe may be necessary or it may be possible to surgically remove the affected part of the brain without further testing.
What tests are used to diagnose frontal lobe epilepsy?
The frontal lobe has different important areas depending on cerebral dominance. This is important to know pre-operatively as the risks of surgery may vary from the right side, to the left side of the brain.
Tests available to determine which side is dominant include:
- Intracarotid sodium amobarbital test (WADA)
- Neuropsychological testing
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Of these, the WADA test is most reliable but also carries a slight risk due to the invasive nature of the test.