Books & Articles | Pediatric Neurology
It is always difficult for any parent to be faced with a child who is ill – even the slightest sniffle or fever can be the source of great concern. A child who experiences a seizure is even more upsetting – the parents usually have no idea what is happening or what to do. There may even be the fear of death. Nothing that the parents do usually has any effect on shortening the seizure.
The first seizure is upsetting enough, but when seizures continue, the parents may become completely overwhelmed and confused. They worry about whether they need to go to the emergency room each time there is a seizure, whether they should call the doctor, and are increasingly confused and anxious when they realize that there is little that theyor anyone else can do to shorten seizures.
Most epileptic seizures can be managed with a single medication, regular monitoring by a health care provider, and periodic testing–including blood tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electroencephalograms (EEGs), which detect electrical activity in the brain. Taking medication as prescribed and avoiding known triggers such as sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption, and illicit drug use are important preventive measures. Yet these approaches, even when carefully carried out, do not always keep seizures in check. When they don’t, your doctor may ask you to consider more aggressive treatment that might involve stronger medications, usually with more side effects; a diet tailored to your needs; or even surgery. Although the main goal of this book is to help you and your loved ones understand and prepare for epilepsy surgery, the final sections describe medical and dietary options that may also help to control seizures. The book’s design highlights certain scientific articles to givereaders a taste of the research that informs clinical practice.
Parents, families and caregivers, as well as persons with epilepsy, frequently have questions about medications and often turn to the Internet for information about medications and other treatment options. This method is, at best, flawed and not completely reliable, depending on the websites that are used.