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Epilepsy Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Epilepsy

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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

  7. Epilepsy: Complex Partial Seizures - Topic Overview

    Complex partial seizures occur in children and adults with certain forms of epilepsy. They are the most common type of seizure in adults.An aura may occur at the beginning of a seizure. It may consist of a strange smell, taste, sound, or visual disturbance, an unexplained feeling of fear or anxiety, or a sense that everything seems strangely familiar, like it has all happened before (déjà vu), or strangely unfamiliar (jamais vu).The seizure changes the person's level of consciousness. The person may appear awake but cannot respond to anything or anyone around him or her. The person usually stares into space.The seizure may include involuntary movements called automatisms, such as lip-smacking, chewing, hand wringing, picking, and swallowing.The seizure lasts 30 seconds to 2 minutes.Most people who have complex partial seizures do not remember having them. After a seizure, the person will be confused or disoriented and may have a hard time speaking and swallowing for several

  8. 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

  9. Nonepileptic Seizures (NES) - Topic Overview

    People with nonepileptic seizures (NES) have periods of seizure-like activity. NES are characterized by a loss of or change in physical function without a central nervous system problem. The loss or change causes periods of physical activity or inactivity that resemble epileptic seizures. A person can have both nonepileptic and epileptic seizures. NES are usually related to a mental health ...

  10. 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

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