you know what a grand mal seizure is? I found out when I was eight years old. I also found out how it felt after having one…a mouth being full of swollen tongue, the taste of blood, and the feeling of being underwater with a throbbing headache. As with most epileptics, doctors have no idea why I have it or what caused it. Mine is not genetic; it may have resulted from one of the many times I thwacked my head as a kid. I liked to hang upside-down on the monkey bars a lot. No surprise that my stampeding hippo brand of grace emerged early, and that I frequently fell from exactly that upside-down position.
Doctors have several anti-seizure options to treat epilepsy, but little data exists to show which of these treatments is best for children. Nevertheless, according to a recent study on therapies prescribed for children under 3 with epilepsy, doctors in the U.S. appear to prefer Keppra (levetiracetam) as either a first or second option for treatment.
Sometimes Shelby would be there, but not “all there.” At the dinner table, her parents and siblings would catch her “zoning out”; she’d stop paying attention to the conversation and need to be jostled back to focus. They’d chide her for being so rude, then continue with their meal. It was just one of her quirks, they reasoned, and she’d grow out of it eventually.
Chronic childhood illnesses such as epilepsy could increase the risk that a person will develop clinical depression as an adult, according to new research. The study, “Research Review: Childhood chronic physical illness and adult emotional health – a systematic review and meta-analysis,” was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
A clinical trial of a drug that researchers hope can prevent or delay the onset of epilepsy in children with tuberous sclerosis has begun at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The Houston site, one of just seven in the country, is led by Mary K. Koenig, M.D., associate professor and Endowed Chair of Mitochondrial Medicine in the Division of Neurology of the Department of Pediatrics at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “It could potentially be a game-changer for epilepsy in general as it is the first trial ever aimed at preventing seizures from developing in a vulnerable population,” Koenig said. Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in many different organs, including the...
A 15-year follow-up study of young adults with epilepsy found that those with uncomplicated epilepsy who were seizure-free for five years or more did as well as their siblings without epilepsy in measures of education, employment, family arrangements and driving status. Youth with complicated epilepsy had worse social outcomes and were less likely to drive, even if living without seizures. Results were published in the journal Epilepsia.
As technology advances, the range of options has grown! I have had many caregivers, parents and loved ones, ask me over the years what kind of Medical Alert/Monitoring Systems are there for someone with epilepsy. Yes, some do work for a person with epilepsy. There are a wide range of them today you can research and look at from personal emergency response systems, sleep monitors, watches and more that can offer piece of mind.
A new study published in Epilepsia found that although most newly diagnosed cases of epilepsy in older adults are treated appropriately with monotherapy, only half of those patients receive treatment within the recommended time frame, and a substantial portion were prescribed older antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) despite recommendations to use newer AEDs in this population.
Piper Wood had her first seizure in a setting meant for sunscreen, snorkels, shovels, and pails. The island was remote – that was the point of this family vacation. Six months old and turning blue, Piper finally calmed down and drew breath again after the island’s well-trained doctor brought her hour-long seizure to a halt by admin- istering a mix of morphine and water into one of her tiny veins. Tim and Ashley Wood needed to get their daughter to a better-equipped hospital immediately, but night had fallen and no medevac could land in the dark. Word spread quickly, and, one by one, villagers arrived in their cars and parked side by side with their headlights shining on the runway.
Two epilepsy drugs, levetiracetam and topiramate, may not harm the thinking skills and IQs of school-age children born to women who took them while pregnant, according to a recent study. The research is published in the August 31, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. However, the drug valproate is associated with lower IQs in children, especially at higher dosages. Valproate, levetiracetam and topiramate are approved by the FDA to treat seizures. Valproate is a commonly prescribed antiepileptic medication, and has been linked to birth defects and developmental problems. Levetiracetam and topiramate are newer drugs, and few studies have looked at their effects on child development and thinking.
A febrile seizure is a convulsion that can occur when a child has a fever, usually as a result of infection. The seizure often occurs during the first day of a fever, which is defined as a temperature of 101˚F (38˚C) or above. In some cases, a child may not have a fever when the seizure occurs, but develops one a few hours later. There does not seem to be any link between how severe a fever is and the likelihood of a seizure occurring; the seizures can occur even in the case of mild fever.
These strategies just might save a life. Bullying can be a serious problem for any child, but for children with a medical challengesuch as epilepsy, the risk is increased. Knowing the facts about bullying is the first step toward preventing victimization of children and teens with epilepsy or other medical conditions, and keeping them safe. What exactly is bullying, and how does it affect the children involved? Bullying consists of aggressive behaviors that are repeated over time and involve an abuse of power by the perpetrator. It may take the form of verbal or physical abuse, or, especially for girls, cyberbullying through social media. The child who bullies learns how to use power and aggression to control and distress another, and the child who is victimized learns about losing power a...