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Epilepsy - Other Treatment

For many years, antiepileptic medicine was the only treatment for people with epilepsy. This is still true for many people, although surgery is now an option for some. Seizures that cannot be controlled with medicine or treated by surgery may sometimes respond to other treatments.

Other treatment choices

Treatments for epilepsy that can be used along with medicines and surgery may include:

  • Special diets. For example, the ketogenic diet is a diet that tries to force the body to use more fat for energy (instead of sugar) by severely limiting carbohydrates—such as bread, pasta, fruits, and vegetables—and total calories.
  • Nerve stimulation. For example, vagus nerve stimulation sends weak electrical signals to the vagus nerve in your neck, which in turn sends the signals to your brain at regular intervals to reduce seizures.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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