Measuring the level of a hormone called prolactin can help distinguish whether a person's seizure is related to epilepsy or mental illness, according to a new guideline from the American Academy of Neurology. Levels of prolactin increase following epileptic seizures; the blood test must be used within 10 minutes to 20 minutes after a seizure, but the test is unable to distinguish epileptic seizures from a fainting condition called syncope.

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