Childhood Epilepsy: Information and Useful Resources

Epilepsy is a condition that ranges from mild to life-threatening. With epilepsy, the usual patterns of neuronal activity are distorted. They can also generate strange sensations, emotions and behavior. Epilepsy may also lead to convulsions, muscle spasms and loss of consciousness.

Epilepsy has many possible causes. It may occur due to abnormal brain wiring. It can also occur due to an imbalance in nerve signaling chemicals (neurotransmitters). Epilepsy can also be caused by changes in special brain cells. Anything from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain growth can lead to an epileptic seizure.

Having a single seizure in the wake of a high fever (febrile seizure) does not mean you have epilepsy. This is also true for seizures after a head injury. Persons with epilepsy tend to have two or more seizures. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or computed tomography are used to measure electrical activity in the brain. These are the tools generally used to diagnose epilepsy.

Epilepsy has many possible causes. It may occur due to abnormal brain wiring. It can also occur due to an imbalance in nerve signaling chemicals (neurotransmitters). Epilepsy can also be caused by changes in special brain cells. Anything from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain growth can lead to an epileptic seizure.

Having a single seizure in the wake of a high fever (febrile seizure) does not mean you have epilepsy. This is also true for seizures after a head injury. Persons with epilepsy tend to have two or more seizures. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or computed tomography are used to measure electrical activity in the brain. These are the tools generally used to diagnose epilepsy.

 Treating Epilepsy

Professionals agree that once epilepsy is diagnosed, then treatment should begin immediately. Approximately 70 percent of people with epilepsy can control their seizures. They can do this with medications and special surgeries, for example. Some medications are also more suitable to control certain types of seizures.

Some children may have epileptic seizures that are difficult to control. So you may need to visit a neurologist who specializes in treating epilepsy. For some children, special diets may aid in controlling seizures. This is especially useful when medications are ineffective or cause severe side effects.

Epilepsy Prognosis

There is no cure for epilepsy. But most people can control their seizures. Treatment includes medication, diet, devices and surgery, for example. Single seizures do not cause brain damage. But continued exposure to uncontrolled seizures may cause brain damage. 

It is not unusual for epileptic patients to develop behavioral and emotional issues. This is especially true for children. Problems can also arise from the stigmatization attached to the condition. This can involve teasing, bullying, and avoiding social settings, for example.

Epilepsy Prognosis

There is no cure for epilepsy. But most people can control their seizures. Treatment includes medication, diet, devices and surgery, for example. Single seizures do not cause brain damage. But continued exposure to uncontrolled seizures may cause brain damage. 

It is not unusual for epileptic patients to develop behavioral and emotional issues. This is especially true for children. Problems can also arise from the stigmatization attached to the condition. This can involve teasing, bullying, and avoiding social settings, for example.

Accessing Healthcare

for Epilepsy

Epilepsy does not need to have a dire end. This is because successful interventions can be made. At Family Neurology, we have specialists who dedicated to treating epilepsy. We also have experience in treating the associated seizures.

Please contact us today for an initial consultation. We will work with you and your child to create the best treatment plan for an improved quality of life and future.

Epilepsy Resources

Research Institutions

There are many ongoing studies that relate to epilepsy. For example, there are ongoing studies about the following:

  • The causes of epilepsy in persons of all ages
  • Seizures arising from brain trauma, brain tumors, and stroke
  • Research into possible new epilepsy treatments
  • Identifying genes or other genetic information that influence the onset of epilepsy
  • How neurotransmitters interact with brain cells to influence nerve firing
  • How non-neuronal brain cells affect seizures
  • Research into flexible brain implants for treating seizures

This information may be used to prevent disorders. It can also help make predictions about the best treatments for various types of epilepsy. 

There are ongoing improvements in MRI and other brain scans. These could assist in diagnosing epilepsy. They could also help identify the areas of the brain that generate seizures.

Other studies also consider the impact of inflammation in epilepsy. Some trials of experimental medicines and surgical interventions are also in progress.

Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)

This non-profit grassroots organization consists of parents and families. They seek to raise funds to support epilepsy research.

Epilepsy Foundation

A national charity that supports the welfare of those with epilepsy. This charitable organization seeks to improve the quality of life. They also seek to improve the societal participation of persons with epilepsy. It serves to improve how people with epilepsy are perceived, and accepted in society. They also promote curative research. The organization also funds a legal defense program.

Family Caregiver Alliance/ National Center on Caregiving

This organization supports the families and caregivers of adults with severe medical conditions. It offers programs and consultations on caregiving matters at all levels. This can mean locally, state-wide and nationally. The center also provides free publications and online support. This also includes a national directory of public-funded caregiver support programs.

National Council on Patient Information and Education

This is a coalition of almost 150 organizations. It promotes safer and more effective use of medicines for epilepsy. They do this through better physician-patient communication.

Epilepsy Resources

Research Institutions

There are many ongoing studies that relate to epilepsy. For example, there are ongoing studies about the following:

  • The causes of epilepsy in persons of all ages
  • Seizures arising from brain trauma, brain tumors, and stroke
  • Research into possible new epilepsy treatments
  • Identifying genes or other genetic information that influence the onset of epilepsy
  • How neurotransmitters interact with brain cells to influence nerve firing
  • How non-neuronal brain cells affect seizures
  • Research into flexible brain implants for treating seizures

This information may be used to prevent disorders. It can also help make predictions about the best treatments for various types of epilepsy. 

There are ongoing improvements in MRI and other brain scans. These could assist in diagnosing epilepsy. They could also help identify the areas of the brain that generate seizures.

Other studies also consider the impact of inflammation in epilepsy. Some trials of experimental medicines and surgical interventions are also in progress.

Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)

This non-profit grassroots organization consists of parents and families. They seek to raise funds to support epilepsy research.

Epilepsy Foundation

A national charity that supports the welfare of those with epilepsy. This charitable organization seeks to improve the quality of life. They also seek to improve the societal participation of persons with epilepsy. It serves to improve how people with epilepsy are perceived, and accepted in society. They also promote curative research. The organization also funds a legal defense program.

Family Caregiver Alliance/ National Center on Caregiving

This organization supports the families and caregivers of adults with severe medical conditions. It offers programs and consultations on caregiving matters at all levels. This can mean locally, state-wide and nationally. The center also provides free publications and online support. This also includes a national directory of public-funded caregiver support programs.

National Council on Patient Information and Education

This is a coalition of almost 150 organizations. It promotes safer and more effective use of medicines for epilepsy. They do this through better physician-patient communication.

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