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    Epilepsy Health Center

    Medical Reference Related to Epilepsy

    1. Questions About Medicines for Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      Epilepsy that causes partial seizures is sometimes called focal epilepsy, because the seizures start at a specific focus or location within the brain. In people with this type of disorder, the electrical charges that cause seizures begin in a specific area in the brain, although more of the brain may become affected during the seizure.Epilepsy that causes partial seizures is the most common type of epilepsy in adults. The seizures do not always have a known cause. But they often result from severe head injury, stroke, brain tumor, brain infections, scar tissue, and other diseases that affect the brain.These same conditions may also cause partial seizures in children. But the cause of partial seizures in children is more often unknown (idiopathic). These seizures are often a form of benign focal childhood epilepsy, which has no known cause.Drug therapy is the usual treatment for partial seizures for both adults and children. Surgery that removes the affected area of the brain is also

    2. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy develops between ages 12 and 18. People with the disorder tend to have seizures that cause jerking in the shoulders or arms. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures and absence seizures may be present along with myoclonic seizures. Seizures often occur early in the morning.People with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy have normal intelligence and do not have other brain or nerve disorders. A family history of myoclonic seizures is present in about half of the people with the disorder. But the exact cause is unknown. Most people require lifelong treatment with medicine.

    3. 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.

    4. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - 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.

    5. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - 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

    6. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - 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).

    7. 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.

    8. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - Health Tools

      This health tool will help you make wise health decisions or take action regarding epilepsy.

    9. 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.

    10. Questions About Medicines for Epilepsy - 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.

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