Epilepsy

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disease of the central nervous system in which there is excessive electrical misfire of neurons- leading to seizures. A seizure can be thought of as an "electrical storm"

Epilepsy:

  • Is not the only cause of childhood seizures

  • Every seizure is not epilepsy

  • Is not a mental illness

  • Does not always necessarily affect intelligence

  • Is not contagious.

  • Does not typically worsen over time

  • Its not always inherited.

Causes of Epilepsy

  • infectious illness (such as meningitis or encephalitis)

  • Brain malformation during pregnancy-cortical dysplasia.

  • trauma to the brain (including lack of oxygen) due to an accident before, during, or after birth or later in childhood

  • underlying metabolic disorders (chemical imbalances in the brain)

  • brain tumors

  • blood vessel malformation-sturge weber syndrome

  • strokes

  • chromosomal disorders-?angelman's syndrome

More than half of epilepsy cases are idiopathic (meaning there's no other identifiable cause).

In most of these, there's a family history of epilepsy or the condition is believed to be genetic (kids with a parent or other close family member with epilepsy are more likely to have it, too).

How are the seizures ?

1. The child may lose consciousness or jerk or tonic posturing and may appear to stop breathing or have difficulty breathing.

2. Milder seizures may leave a child momentarily confused or unaware of his or her surroundings. Some seizures are so brief and minor that only careful observation or an experienced eye will detect them — a child may simply blink or stare into space for a moment before resuming normal activity.

After seizures that last more than 30 seconds, most kids are exhausted, tired, sleepy, disoriented, confused, or even combative and agitated for minutes to hours. This is known as the postictal phase.

During a seizure, it's very important to stay calm,call for the help and keep your child safe.

  • Lay your child down away from furniture, stairs, radiators, or other hard or sharp objects.

  • Put something soft under his or her head.

  • Turn your child on his or her right side so fluid in the mouth can come out-left lateral position.

  • Never stick anything in your child's mouth or try to restrain him or her.

  • Use midazolam nasal spray in both nostrils to help abolish seizure event.

  • Diagnosis

    1. Electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures electrical activity of the brain via harmless sensors secured to the scalp while the child is sleep. Usually the doctor will ask that a child be sleep-deprived (put to bed late and awakened early) before this painless test, which typically takes about 1 hour.

    2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain which looks at images of the brain.

    3. Developmental assessment by clinical psychologist. To know associated morbidities like hyperactivity,LD Treating Epilepsy

    1. Always follow your doctor's prescription.

    2. Never discontinue the drugs of own.

    3. Never change the brand of the drug.

    4. In case of emergency seizure-use of nasal midazolam spray is helpful to abolish the event before consultation of the doctor.

    5.Avoid triggers (such as fever and overtiredness, specific food)

    6. Consulting the Pediatric neurologist, at regular interval is recommended, even if responding well to medication.

    Most kids are successfully treated with one medication — and if the first doesn't work, the doctor will usually try a second or even a third before resorting to combinations of medications.

    No medication for epilepsy is perfect and side effects are possible.

    Nowadays, many choices are available and most kids treated with antiepileptic medications do not experience worrisome side effects.

    Living with epilepsy:

    Younger kids should always be supervised in and older kids should take showers with the bathroom door unlocked — and only when there is someone else in the house.

    It's also wise to lower the temperature of hot water so a child cannot be accidentally scalded during a seizure.

    A responsible adult within arm's reach is recommended during swimming for kids with epilepsy.

    A helmet is required during bicycling, as it is for everyone.

    With these safety precautions, your child should be able to play, participate in sports or other activities, and generally do what other kids like to do.

    It's important to make sure that, family members, babysitters, teachers, coaches, etc. — know that your child has epilepsy, understand the condition, and know what to do in the event of a seizure,i.e.using the spray .

    The kid should have an identity card mentioning the treating doctor, address, and emergency contact no.

    Offer your child plenty of support, discuss epilepsy openly, and answer questions honestly.

    Kids with epilepsy might be embarrassed about the seizures or worry about having one at school or with friends. It's important to heighten the self esteem of these children.

    Unfortunately, many kids with epilepsy have learning and behavioral problems and can create more hardship for a child than the epilepsy itself.

    In some cases, the medication's side effects can make these problems worse. Such difficulties might require the help of specialists, teachers, and social workers.

    Parents also might benefit from advice from specialists such as psychologists, social workers, or specialized educators.

    The woman with epilepsy can marry and can have children, with consultation of specialist doctor.

    With appropriate treatment 2/3 of children outgrow of epilepsy well.

 

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