Seizure Disorder -- Child
(Disorder, Seizure—Child; Epilepsy—Child)
- Generalized seizure—onset is throughout the brain (both hemispheres)
- Partial seizure (focal seizure)—begins within certain areas of the brain
|Abnormal and excessive electrical activity in the brain.|
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- Sleep deprivation
- Hormonal changes (eg, during the menstrual cycle)
- Flashing lights (eg, strobe lights)
- Use of certain medicines or drugs
- Missing doses of anti-seizure medicines
- Aura—a sensation at the start of a seizure (eg, perception of an odd smell or sound, spots appearing in front of the eyes, or stomach sensations)
- Staring, eye blinking, or eye rolling
- Loss of consciousness
- Repeated jerking of a single limb
- Uncontrollable jerking of muscles
- Hand rubbing, lip smacking, or picking at clothing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Drowsiness or confusion after a seizure
- Blood tests
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)—uses sensors to evaluate electrical brain activity
- MRI scan —uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the brain
- CT scan —type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the head
- Lumbar puncture —test of the cerebrospinal fluid from the lower back
- Magnetoencephalography (MEG)—imaging device that measures the brain's magnetic fields
- For generalized seizure disorder: valproic acid (Depakote), phenytoin (Dilantin)
- For partial seizure disorder: carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, Tegretol XR), phenytoin (Dilantin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
Other Lifestyle Changes
- Making sure he takes his anti-seizure medicine as prescribed
- Having your child get enough sleep
- Finding ways to help him avoid hyperventilating (eg, by doing deep breathing exercises, meditation)
- Having your child avoid strobe lights
- Have your child wear a medical alert bracelet. That way, if your child has a seizure, people around him will understand what is happening. They will be able to get help.
- Keep a seizure log for your child. Record things that were happening around the time of a seizure. This will help to identify a seizure trigger.
If your child’s condition is severe, take these steps to prevent serious injuries:
- Do not allow your child to swim or bathe alone.
- Do not have your child climb or play in areas where he could fall.
- Talk to the doctor to find out which activities are safe for your child. He may have to avoid certain sports.
- Get prenatal care.
- Be sure that your child always wears a helmet when doing certain activities (eg, bike riding, skateboarding, playing contact sports).
- Have your child wear seat belts or sit in a car seat when riding in a car.
- Teach your child never to dive into water. To be safe, he should always go into the water feet first.
Epilepsy Foundation http://www.efa.org/
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
Center for Epilepsy and Seizure Education http://epilepsy.cc/
Epilepsy Ontario http://www.epilepsyontario.org/
American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Epilepsy. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Epilepsy.aspx . Accessed July 1, 2010.
Carson-DeWitt R. Seizure disorder. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated October 2009. Accessed July 1, 2010.
Children’s Hospital Boston. Seizures and epilepsy. Children’s Hospital Boston website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1967/mainpageS1967P0.html . Accessed July 1, 2010.
Cincinnati Children’s. Epilepsy and seizures. Cincinnati Children’s website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/info/neurology/diagnose/epilepsy-seizures.htm . Updated October 2009. Accessed July 1, 2010.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Epilepsy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated June 28, 2010. Accessed July 1, 2010.
Massachusetts General Hospital. Activities, safety, and first aid. Massachusetts General Hospital website. Available at: http://www2.massgeneral.org/childhoodepilepsy/child/activities.htm . Accessed July 1, 2010.
5/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Quet F, Guerchet M, Pion SD, Ngoungou EB, Nicoletti A, Preux PM. Meta-analysis of the association between cysticercosis and epilepsy in Africa. Epilepsia. 2010 ;51(5):830-837.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 06/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/60/2012 -