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Epilepsy Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Epilepsy

  1. Imaging Tests for 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Epilepsy - Other Treatment

    For many years, antiepileptic medication was the only treatment for people with epilepsy. This is still true for many people, although surgery is now an option for some.

  6. 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.

  7. Epilepsy: Atonic Seizures - 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.

  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. Epilepsy - Symptoms

    Seizures are the only visible symptom of epilepsy. There are different kinds of seizures, and symptoms of each type can affect people differently. Seizures can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

  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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