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Epilepsy Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Epilepsy

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome - 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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Epilepsy: Simple Partial Seizures - Topic Overview

    Simple partial seizures occur in children and adults with some forms of epilepsy. They are about half as common as complex partial seizures. The person stays awake and aware during the seizure. The seizure may be only a strange smell or taste, sound or visual disturbance, or feeling of confusion, anxiety, or fear—some people describe these sensations as an aura. The person's arms, face, or hands may briefly stiffen, tingle, flex, or jerk, but this does not always occur. Eyes may blink rapidly during the seizure. The person may cry out or may not be able to speak.Simple partial seizures affect only those muscles or body parts controlled by the specific area of the brain where the seizure begins. After the seizure, the person may feel weak or numb in that area of his or her body (often one side of the face, one hand, or one arm).

  10. Epilepsy: Anterior Temporal Lobectomy - Topic Overview

    Anterior temporal lobectomy is the removal of part of one of the brain's temporal lobes. It is the most common type of surgery for epilepsy.Anterior temporal lobectomy is used to treat people with temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common type of epilepsy in adults, when antiepileptic medicines fail to control seizures. Temporal lobe epilepsy usually causes complex partial seizures that begin in the temporal lobe.For a person who has seizures that do not get better with antiepileptic medicines, anterior temporal lobectomy may be a good option. Having surgery may help control epilepsy better than if the person were to keep trying antiepileptic medicines.1

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