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
Phenytoin for Epilepsy
Drug details for Phenytoin for epilepsy.
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
Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy
When the body burns (metabolizes) fat, it creates substances called ketones. The ketogenic diet tries to force the body to use more fat for energy instead of sugar (glucose) by increasing fat and restricting carbohydrates. It is not yet clear how or why the ketogenic diet prevents or reduces seizures, but it has been shown to be effective in reducing epileptic seizures in some children.1The ...
Vagus Nerve Stimulator 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
Gabapentin for Epilepsy
Drug details for Gabapentin for epilepsy.
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
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: Myoclonic Seizures - Topic Overview
Myoclonic seizures affect a small number of children and adults with generalized epilepsy of unknown cause (idiopathic). In children and teens with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, the seizures seem to occur most often after waking up or while falling asleep.During a myoclonic seizure:The arms, legs, torso, or facial muscles jerk rapidly as though they are being shocked.The body may jerk once or many times, on one or both sides of the body, in a rhythmic or random pattern.The person usually does not lose consciousness.Myoclonic seizures are almost always very brief.
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.