Your doctor may order a test called an MRI (magnetic resonance image) of the head to look for a cause of a seizure.
An MRI is a way of looking at the brain that does not use xrays. Pictures of the brain are created by changing the magnetic fields of certain parts of the brain cell structures. The patient lies on a table that slides into a scanning machine. This scanner makes loud pounding noises while making the brain images. The patient will be given some form of protection from the sound. Some people may become claustrophobic while in the scanner. If this is the case, the radiologist may give them something to help relax them and have them sleep during the study. The images are read by a neuroradiologist who provides a report that is sent to the patient's neurologist.
The MRI can show normal and abnormal brain anatomy; it is a good study for showing brain developmental abnormalities, strokes, tumors, evidence of old brain injuries and some infections. The MRI can show the brain in several planes call sagittal (a side view), axial (bottom to top view) and coronal (back to front view).
The MRI may still be normal in someone who has seizures. There are some causes of epilepsy (genetic) that may not produce changes in the brain structure which is what the MRI shows.