Seizure Differential Diagnosis Mnemonics


Seizures are neurological disorders characterized by signs and symptoms (which last for a brief period of time) due to sudden and abnormally excessive synchronous neuronal discharges. Seizures allude to a possible underlying neurological disorder. In this article, we are going to share with you seizure differential diagnosis mnemonics so that you will be able to memorize all the relevant DDx and enhance your clinical skills. 🙂

But before we proceed to the seizure differential diagnosis mnemonics, let’s take a look at a few important things:

Causes of Seizure

Below are the important causes of seizure which you must keep in mind:

  1. Stroke
  2. Cancer
  3. Brain Tumors
  4. Brain Infections (i.e Meningitis)
  5. Drug Abuse (i.e Cocaine & Heroin)
  6. Electrolyte imbalance
  7. Decreased blood glucose levels


Seizure Classification

Here’s the classification of seizure:

1) Partial Seizure (the seizure activity originates in one part of the brain)

– Simple
– Complex

2) Generalized Seizure (the seizure activity involves the entire brain)

– Absence
– Myoclonic
– Tonic Clonic
– Tonic
– Atonic

Alright, now let’s proceed to the mnemonics for seizure differential diagnosis! 🙂


CHECK ALSO: Chest Pain Differential Diagnosis Mnemonic


Seizure Differential Diagnosis Mnemonics

Below are the seizure differential diagnosis mnemonics you may use for the ease of memorization: 🙂

Mnemonic: VITAMINS

Vascular: Stroke, Post Stroke, AV Malformations
Infection: Meningoencephalitis, Lyme disease, TB meningitis, brain abscess, HIV related, Cerebral Malaria
Trauma: Brain injury
Autoimmune: SLE, CNS Vasculitits
Metabolic: Hepatic Encephalopathy, Uremia, Hypoglycemia, Low Na, Ca, Mg, Porphyria
Idiopathic: Epilepsy
Neoplasm: Primary brain tumour, Secondaries from breast, lungs, GIT
Syndromes: Tuberous Sclerosis, Down’s syndrome, Sturge Weber syndrome Von Hippel Lindau syndrome


Substrates (sugar, oxygen)
Isoniazid overdose
Cations (Na, Ca, Mg)
Kids (eclampsia)
Drugs (CRAPCocaine, Rum (alcohol), Amphetamines, PCP)
Rum (alcohol withdrawal)
Illnesses (chronic seizure disorder or other chronic disorder)
Fever (meningitis, encephalitis, abscess)
Trauma (epidural, subdural, intraparenchymal hemorrhage)
Extra: toxicologic (TAILTheo, ASA, Isoniazid, Lithium) and 3 Anti‘s: (Antihistamine overdose, Antidepressant overdose, Anticonvulsants (too high Dilantin, Tegretol) or benzo withdrawal.
Rat poison (organophosphates poisoning)

That’s it! We hope you find these mnemonics useful in memorizing Seizure Differential Diagnosis. 🙂


Got a more creative mnemonic? Share it with us by using the comment box below. 🙂


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