Epilepsy - Cause
Learn about causes of epilepsy, including tumor, infection, or damage to the brain.
Epilepsy Medicine Therapy Failure - Topic Overview
Medicine therapy for epilepsy can fail for several reasons: You do not follow the treatment plan. You have to follow your therapy routine exactly as your doctor orders,to have the best chance of keeping seizures under control. Missing a dose here or there or taking doses too close together can upset the levels of the drug in your body and lead to seizures,severe side effects,and other health ...
Family History of Epilepsy - Topic Overview
Adults with epilepsy may wonder if their children will also develop epilepsy. Whether a family history of epilepsy (genetics) increases a person's risk for the disorder partly depends on what type of epilepsy the family member has had.Several types of childhood epilepsy may be passed from parent to child. These include benign focal childhood epilepsy, childhood absence epilepsy, and juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, which have no other known cause.If you developed epilepsy as a result of a head injury, stroke, or other clear causes, you probably will not pass the condition on to any children you have. But certain genetic factors may have made you more likely to develop epilepsy after the injury, stroke, or other cause. And you might pass on these genetic factors to your child.A child of a parent with epilepsy may or may not develop the disorder. Family history is a risk factor, but many people with epilepsy have children who never develop it. Research on the role of genetics in epilepsy
Hemispherectomy for Epilepsy - Topic Overview
The left and right sides of the brain are called hemispheres. Hemispherectomy is the removal of one side of the brain. This procedure is sometimes done on children who have severe forms of epilepsy, such as Rasmussen syndrome and Sturge-Weber disease. These conditions badly damage one side of the brain, cause frequent seizures and problems with physical and mental development. And these conditions do not respond well to drug treatment.Hemispherectomy may completely prevent seizures and reverse delays in development that occur with some forms of epilepsy.The surgery always causes some loss of movement and sensation on one side of the body and sometimes causes partial loss of vision in half of the visual field of each eye. But most children with a large epileptic area on one side of the brain already have these problems before the surgery.
Epilepsy: Taking Your Medicines Properly
You may be taking one or more medications to prevent seizures. To get the most benefit from them, you need to consistently take the right dose of the right medication at the right time. This can be difficult, but by following a few key tips, you can do it.Key pointsBecome informed about the medications you are taking. Learn their names, their purpose, and their expected side effects. Know how ...
Imaging Tests for Epilepsy - Topic Overview
Imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scan, are often done after a first seizure. And they are recommended in other situations. An MRI or CT scan may be done immediately if you had a seizure along with confusion or new motor or sensory problems that did not improve soon after the seizure ended. Ongoing headache or fever, AIDS, recent head trauma, cancer, or anticoagulant therapy also increases the likelihood that the seizure was related to a serious brain problem. The nature of the seizure and your age can also help determine whether an imaging test is needed.Imaging tests may be used before epilepsy surgery to find the exact location of a problem in the brain. Because scans are able to detect brain lesions, they can also be helpful in deciding whether it is safe to stop treatment with medicine. The presence of lesions increases your risk of having seizures if you stop taking medicine.
Stopping Medicine for Epilepsy - Topic Overview
It is easy to understand people's reasons for wanting to stop medicine. Some reasons are side effects and drug toxicity,the cost and inconvenience of medicine,and,for women who want to have children,the higher risk of birth defects associated with some epilepsy medicines. If you have not had a seizure in several years,you may want to discuss with your doctor the possibility of stopping ...
Epilepsy and Driving - Topic Overview
If you have seizures that alter your awareness, consciousness, or muscle control, you may not have the legal right to drive.Laws vary from state to state, but in many cases you have to be seizure-free for at least 6 months to 1 year before you can get a driver's license.The laws of the state you live in, not your doctor, decide whether or not you have the right to drive. You can find out about the law in your state by visiting the Epilepsy Foundation website at www.epilepsyfoundation.org/resources/drivingandtravel.cfmBefore getting a license, you may have to show proof from your doctor that you are receiving treatment and that the treatment has brought your seizures under control. (Remember, too, that some drugs used to control epilepsy may make you drowsy. If you have just started a new drug, don't drive until you know how the drug will affect you.)In general, the risk of having a seizure-related traffic accident is greatly reduced in people who have been seizure-free for 1 year.
Epilepsy: Generalized Seizures - Topic Overview
Epilepsy that causes generalized seizures is more common in children than in adults. Unlike partial seizures, which begin in a specific, often damaged area in the brain, generalized seizures cannot be traced to a specific location or focus. The abnormal electrical activity that causes seizures begins over the entire surface of the brain. And these seizures tend to affect the entire body.Epilepsy that causes generalized seizures may have no known cause (idiopathic), or it may result from another condition (symptomatic). Drug therapy is the usual treatment approach. But surgery may be helpful in some cases.
Epilepsy - Medications
Medications to prevent epileptic seizures are called antiepileptics. The goal is to find an effective antiepileptic medication that causes the fewest side effects. Antiepileptic medications prevent seizures in 60% to 70% of people who take them. Although