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 ...
Epilepsy - What Increases Your Risk
The risk of developing epilepsy increases if you have family history of epilepsy or a head injury with loss of consciousness or amnesia for more than 24 hours.
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: Tonic Seizures - Topic Overview
Tonic seizures are fairly uncommon. They occur mostly in people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. This is a severe form of generalized epilepsy that begins in early childhood. (Children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome may also have atonic seizures.)When a tonic seizure occurs, the muscles in the body contract and the entire body stiffens. This occurs suddenly and without warning. And it often causes the person to fall down.People who have tonic or atonic seizures are likely to be injured when they fall. Children may have to wear helmets and restrict their activities to prevent serious injury.
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.
Absence Epilepsy - Topic Overview
Childhood absence epilepsy develops between ages 4 and 10. It causes very brief absence seizures that may include staring into space, eye fluttering, and slight muscle jerks. Juvenile absence epilepsy develops between ages 10 and 17 and causes similar seizures. Many children with juvenile absence epilepsy have generalized tonic-clonic seizures as well.Both childhood and juvenile absence epilepsy tend to run in families. These types of epilepsy usually respond well to drug therapy.
Diagnosing Epilepsy: EEG's Limits - Topic Overview
Electroencephalography (EEG) is thought to be the most useful test in confirming a diagnosis of epilepsy, but it is not foolproof. Some people with abnormal EEG results do not have epilepsy. This is not common.About 50% of people with epilepsy will have normal results on their first EEG.1 If epilepsy is still suspected, a follow-up EEG may be done. This second test may be a sleep-deprived EEG, in which the test is done after you have been forced to stay awake for a longer period of time than usual. A sleep-deprived EEG can sometimes reveal abnormalities that did not show up on the regular EEG.From 10% to 40% of people with epilepsy will have normal EEG results even after having several EEG tests done.1Video and EEG monitoring records seizures on videotape and computer so that the doctor can see what happens just before, during, and right after a seizure occurs. The video records what you are doing while the EEG records the electrical activity occurring in your brain. This type of
Epilepsy - Prevention
Since the cause of epilepsy is often not clear, it is not possible to prevent it.Head injury, a common cause of epilepsy, may be preventable. Always wear your seat belt in the car and a helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle, skiing, skating, or horsebac
Epilepsy - Treatment Overview
Treatment can reduce or prevent seizures in most people who have epilepsy, which can improve the quality of your life. Controlling your epilepsy also lowers the risk of falling and other accidents that can happen when you have a seizure.
Epilepsy - What Happens
Although epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders involving the nervous system, experts often cannot explain exactly how or why the disease develops and how or why the abnormal electrical activity in the brain occurs.