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Health & Wellness: Detecting childhood epilepsy — it’s not their attention span

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.

A Chronic Childhood Illness Like Epilepsy Could Increase Risk of Adult Depression, Study Reports

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.

New UTHealth study focuses on treatment for epilepsy caused by tuberous sclerosis

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...

Youth with uncomplicated epilepsy have favorable social outcomes as their siblings

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.

How to Choose a Medical Alert System

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.

The Different Kind of Worried You Feel When Your Child Has Epilepsy

My Daughter Salina had a seizure at school the other day. He was wide awake at the time. That’s a first because until that day, he’d only ever had seizures in his sleep. I’m not sure what this means. My husband says it’s probably a one-time thing, nothing to worry about. But in our experience with epilepsy, there’s no such thing as a one-time thing.

Epilepsy Treatment Often Delayed in Older Adults

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.

The quest by parents and scientists to end pediatric epilepsy

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.

Taking two new epilepsy drugs during pregnancy may not harm thinking skills and IQs of children

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.

Febrile Seizures / Convulsion

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.

How to Prevent Bullying of Children with Epilepsy, Other Medical Conditions

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...

Kids With Epilepsy Feel Discrimination and Stigma, Study Finds

Feelings of exhaustion, discrimination, embarrassment over loss of privacy and body functions, as well as an overwhelming sense life disruption are common among children with epilepsy, according to a new study released today. “Depending on age group, we see different reactions not just from patients themselves but also from their families,” Dr. Asim Shahid, Pediatric Epilepsy Specialist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, told ABC News. He said he hears these worries and fears every day when diagnosing children and helping them adjust to taking medication. In his experience, they may feel inadequate in comparison to children without the condition; it can become “a source of anxiety and stress.”

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