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    Epilepsy Health Center

    Medical Reference Related to Epilepsy

    1. Questions About Medicines for 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.

    2. Questions About Medicines for Epilepsy - Surgery

      Surgery can greatly improve the lives of some people with epilepsy. While medication is the most common approach to treating epilepsy, it does not always work.

    3. Nerve Stimulation for Epilepsy

      Similar to a pacemaker, a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) is a small device implanted under the skin near your collarbone. A wire (lead) under the skin connects the device to the vagus nerve in your neck. The doctor programs the device to produce weak electrical signals that travel along the vagus nerve to your brain at regular intervals. These signals help prevent the electrical bursts in the brain

    4. Juvenile Myoclonic 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.

    5. Questions About Medicines for Epilepsy - When To Call a Doctor

      Seizures do not always require urgent care. However, call 911 or other emergency services immediately if the person having a seizure stops breathing for longer than 30 seconds. After calling or other emergency services, begin rescue breathing.

    6. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe form of childhood epilepsy that causes frequent seizures. Several types of seizures are usually present at the same time, including atonic or tonic seizures. These seizures can cause injury.Lennox-Gastaut syndrome may be caused by a variety of brain injuries. Other problems, such as intellectual disability, delays in physical and intellectual growth, and other mental and physical disabilities, may also be present. The condition can be difficult to treat. Treatment with medicines, the ketogenic diet, or a type of brain surgery called corpus callosotomy may help control some of the seizures that occur with this syndrome. Most children will continue to have seizures throughout life.

    7. Juvenile Myoclonic 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.

    8. Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      What is epilepsy? Epilepsy is a common condition that causes repeated seizures. The seizures are caused by bursts of electrical activity in the brain that are not normal.

    9. 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 ...

    10. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      An atonic seizure is a sudden loss of muscle tone in the muscles that hold the body and head upright.The seizure occurs without warning and usually causes the person to fall down.Some atonic seizures may be more limited, only causing the person's head to drop for a moment.Atonic seizures are fairly uncommon and 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 tonic seizures.)People who have atonic or tonic seizures are likely to be injured when they fall. Children may have to wear helmets and restrict their activities to prevent serious injury.

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