Seizure Disorders & Epilepsy

Many children come to Ascend Pediatric Neurology for seizures. Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which clusters of nerve cells or neurons in the brain signal abnormally. When the normal pattern of impulses from the brain is disturbed it can trigger unusual sensations, emotions, behavior or muscle spasms, convulsion and loss of consciousness.

Having a seizure does not necessarily mean that a person has epilepsy. Only when a person has had two or more seizures is he or she considered to have epilepsy.

What is a seizure?

During a seizure neurons may fire as many as 500 times a second, much faster than normal. In some people, this happens only occasionally; for others, it may happen up to hundreds of times a day.

What causes Epilepsy?

Approximately 65% of people newly diagnosed with epilepsy have no obvious cause. For others, their seizures can be directly correlated to a stroke, congenital abnormalities, brain tumors, trauma or infection among others.

How is it Diagnosed?

There are many different types of seizure disorders. Though your pediatrician might be the first to evaluate for seizures or epilepsy, many will make a referral to a neurologist for further diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is based on medical history, a full physical and neurological exam. Additional testing may be required.

How are seizures treated?

Just as each patient is different, each case must be evaluated on an individual basis. The treatment suggested will depend on the type of epilepsy, the frequency and severity of the seizures, the age of the patient, overall health and medical history. The majority of epileptic seizure patients can be helped with drug therapy.

Links:

Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia – www.epilepsyga.org