Seizure Disorder

Epilepsy is a disorder that results from the surges in electrical signals inside the brain, causing recurring seizures.

Symptoms

Seizure symptoms vary. Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others have full-fledged convulsions.

About this Condition

About 2 in 100 people in the United States will experience an unprovoked seizure once in life. However, a solitary seizure doesn't mean you have epilepsy. At least two unprovoked seizures are generally required for an epilepsy diagnosis.

Epilepsy is a disorder that results from the surges in electrical signals inside the brain, causing recurring seizures.

Even mild seizures may require treatment because they can be dangerous during activities such as driving or swimming. Treatment — which generally includes medications and sometimes surgery — usually eliminates or reduces the frequency and intensity of seizures. Many children with epilepsy outgrow the condition with age.

[Source: Mayo Clinic]

This content is for your general education only. See your doctor for a professional diagnosis and to discuss an appropriate treatment plan.

Conservative Treatments

Medications for a Seizure Disorder

Most people with epilepsy can become seizure-free by using a single anti-epileptic drug. Others can decrease the frequency and intensity of their seizures. More than half the children with medication-controlled epilepsy can eventually stop medications and live a seizure-free life. Many adults also can discontinue medication after two or more years without seizures.

Finding the right medication and dosage can be complex. Your doctor likely will first prescribe a single drug at a relatively low dosage and may increase the dosage gradually until your seizures are well controlled.

All anti-seizure medications have some side effects. Mild side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of bone density
  • Skin rashes
  • Loss of coordination
  • Speech problems

 

More severe but rare side effects include:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Severe rash
  • Inflammation of certain organs, such as your pancreas or liver

 

To achieve the best seizure control possible with medication:

  • Take medications exactly as prescribed.
  • Always call your doctor before switching to a generic version of your medication or taking other prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs or herbal remedies.
  • Never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor.
  • Notify your doctor immediately if you notice new or increased feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts or unusual changes in your mood or behaviors.

 

At least half of all people newly diagnosed with epilepsy will become seizure-free with their first medication. If anti-epileptic medications don't provide satisfactory results, your doctor may suggest surgery or other therapies.

[Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/epilepsy/DS00342/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs">Mayo Clinic]

Surgery

Vagal Nerve Stimulator

Vagus nerve stimulation is a procedure that sends electrical impulses into your brain in an effort to decrease the seizure frequency and duration. Sometimes called vagal nerve stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation is one of a few newer brain-stimulation methods designed to treat chronic depression when other treatments haven't worked.
There's one vagus nerve on each side of your body. Each nerve runs from your brainstem through your neck and down to your chest and abdomen.

With vagus nerve stimulation, a device called a pulse generator is surgically implanted in your chest. A wire threaded under your skin connects the pulse generator to the left vagus nerve in your neck. The pulse generator sends out electrical signals along the vagus nerve to your brain. These signals affect mood centers of your brain, which may improve depression symptoms.

[Source: Mayo Clinic]

Please keep in mind that all treatments and outcomes are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, and bowel or bladder problems are some of the potential adverse risks of surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results and other important medical information.