Epilepsy News

Epilepsy is a neurological condition in which an individual has recurrent seizures. It is also commonly referred to as seizure disorder. A seizure occurs when the nerve cells in the brain create signals in an unusual or excessive manner. Symptoms can range from involuntary movements to more mild changes in what the person feels or see. They can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

The exact cause of epilepsy can be hard to pin down. In most people with epilepsy, there is no specific cause, and the disorder may be genetic. Other times, head injuries, stroke, brain infections or oxygen deprivation can lead to the development of epilepsy. It can develop early or later in life, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 2 million adults and about a half-million children have epilepsy.

Symptoms of Epilepsy

The severity and general nature of epilepsy can vary quite a bit from person to person. For some, the symptoms are quite mild and occur rarely, with people experiencing just a momentary disruption in one or more senses, for example. Others with epilepsy experience a loss of consciousness or appear to be staring off into space for a short period of time. And then there are full-body convulsions that are often considered seizures. People can also experience more than one type of seizure, and the frequency of seizures varies from person to person.


Most seizures are treated with antiepileptic drugs. A variety of drugs are now available, and doctors may have a patient try one while carefully monitoring the person to determine the drug's effectiveness as well as the side effects. It often takes a few attempts to find the right medication or combination of medications to control seizures.

In instances where seizures originate in one very specific part of the brain, called the “seizure focus, ” surgery to remove the seizure focus may be an option. Other possibilities for epilepsy treatment include electrical nerve stimulation and a diet known as the ketogenic diet.

SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Epilepsy Foundation

Date Posted
Article Title
Alternative Therapies for Epilepsy

Children with epilepsy may benefit from alternative therapies to control seizures, study finds.

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Create a plan to keep your child safe at school

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Experimental therapy shows interaction between cannabidiol and clobazam

Number of Americans With Epilepsy at Record Level

3.4 million people live with the disorder, government researchers say

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Designed to treat epilepsy, these 'opioid alternatives' dampen some types of pain, but not all

Genetic Testing Can Help Pinpoint Epilepsy Earlier

Faster diagnosis leads to faster treatment, researcher says

Compound in Pot Eases Severe Form of Epilepsy

Cannabidiol not associated with the 'high' of marijuana, researchers report

Black, Hispanic Americans Less Likely to See a Neurologist

They more often wind up in the ER and face higher medical costs than white patients, study shows

'Silent' Seizures Tied to Alzheimer's Symptoms

Researchers suggest they're a potential target for treating the disease

Seizure Control Eases Life for Young Adults With Epilepsy

Those with uncomplicated cases do as well as their siblings without the disorder, study finds

Seizure Control Key to Avoiding Sudden Death With Epilepsy

Tonic-clonic seizures are a major risk factor for this rare event, new guideline says

Pot Ingredient Might Ease Severe Epilepsy

Cannabidiol appears to lessen 'drop seizures' for some Lennox-Gastaut syndrome patients, study finds

Epilepsy: Another Potential Zika Threat to Babies

CDC team says up to half of infants exposed to the virus develop seizures

Obesity in Early Pregnancy May Raise Child's Risk of Epilepsy

The heavier the mom, the greater the odds of the seizure disorder, study suggests

Can Brain Scans Help Doctors Navigate Epilepsy Surgery?

Imaging offers less invasive way to protect regions involved in language and memory, researchers say

'Epilepsy Gene Network' Identified in Brain

Preliminary discovery suggests new avenues for treatment, researcher says

Rare Infant Seizure Disorder Often Missed

Parents, doctors may not recognize infantile spasms early enough to prevent brain damage, study finds

Marijuana Derivative May Curb Tough-to-Treat Epilepsy

Cannabidiol lowered frequency, severity of seizures in trials, but without a 'high'

When Sibling Has Epilepsy, Kids Worry

Protective feelings a very common response, study finds

Study Sheds Light on Safety of Driving With Epilepsy

Those who had longer seizures during driving tests were more likely to have accidents

11 Percent of Stroke Survivors Struggle With Epilepsy

Study found those who suffered more brain damage were more likely to have seizures afterwards

Moms' Rheumatoid Arthritis May Be Linked to Epilepsy Risk in Kids

Researcher stressed that most children born to women with the autoimmune condition not at risk for seizures

Chronic Disease in Mom May Be Linked to Newborns' Heart Disease

Risk highest among women born with heart defects or who developed type 2 diabetes, study suggests

Newer Epilepsy Drugs May Be Safer During Pregnancy

Small British study says two drugs don't harm a child's mental development, but popular older one does

Young People With Epilepsy Struggle on Many Fronts

New review finds children, young adults citing discrimination, lack of privacy, exclusion

4 Out of 5 Kids With Epilepsy Have Other Health Problems: Study

Digestive disorders, headaches, attention-deficit disorder among the common issues

Epilepsy May Triple ADHD Risk, Danish Study Finds

It also found possible link between fever-related seizures and the behavioral disorder in kids

One-a-Day Anti-Seizure Drug Shows Promise for People With Epilepsy

Eslicarbazepine may make management easier, safer for people with the disorder, researchers say

Study Sees No Link Between Common Epilepsy Drug, Certain Birth Defects

Large review found no greater risk of clubfoot, cleft palate, in babies of moms-to-be who used lamotrigine

Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Epilepsy Risk, Study Suggests

But the research did not prove a cause-and-effect connection

Even Controlled, Epilepsy May Still Cause Problems for Kids

Study finds social and educational issues may be a concern as children get older

MS Patients May Be Prone to Other Chronic Illnesses, Study Finds

High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression among common co-existing conditions

Briviact Approved for Epileptic Seizures

Among people 16 and older

Marijuana Chemical May Help Prevent Epileptic Seizures in Kids, Young Adults

Trial showed a benefit, but more study is needed, experts said