Epilepsy Treatments

Treatments for Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disorder that affects the central nervous system. During an epileptic episode, the brain’s neural activity is disrupted. The disruption causes periods of unusual activity and seizures. A seizure can sometimes cause a loss of consciousness. During a seizure, people can have several different symptoms. Some people twitch their arms and legs uncontrollably.

Epilepsy Treatments

Prescription Medications

Anti-epileptic medicines can prevent seizures in some people. Some people have to take a combination of medicines. Your doctor can let you know when it is safe to stop taking your anti-epileptic medication. Many adults can stop taking medication when they are seizure-free for at least two years.

Review Your Medical History

Your doctor will consider several factors before prescribing an anti-epileptic medication. Your doctor will review your medical history. He will also make sure that your anti-epileptic medication does not interfere with any other medicines you are taking. Your physician will likely prescribe one medication to control your seizures. If the seizures cannot be controlled with one medication, your doctor may prescribe a combination of medications. The medication might cause dizziness, fatigue, weight gain and skin rashes.

Possible Side Effects

You should always follow the recommended dosage instructions. Speak with your doctor if you have unusual mood changes or an increased feeling of depression. Most people become seizure-free after taking one seizure medication. If your medication does not stop the seizures, your doctor may suggest other medical treatments.

Surgical Treatments

Your doctor may recommend surgery if the seizures are originating in one area of your brain. If the area does not interfere with any of your vital functions, your doctor may suggest removing the affected area. Some people need anti-epileptic medications after a successful surgery and recovery, but your doctor might prescribe a lower dosage. You should speak with your surgeon about his level of experience and success rates. A small number of people have permanent complications after a surgical procedure.

Nerve Stimulation Therapy

Nerve stimulation therapies can help some people prevent seizures. Your doctor can implant a vagus nerve stimulator underneath your skin. The device resembles a pacemaker. It is a battery powered device, and it sends bursts of electricity to your vagus nerve. The device usually reduces seizures by at least 20 percent. Some people can reduce their medication after the treatment. Many people have shortness of breath and hoarseness after the therapy.

Reduce Seizures With Dietary Changes

A ketogenic diet has helped many children have fewer seizures. The diet is low in carbohydrates and high in fats. You should consult with a doctor before switching your child’s diet. Some people have constipation and nutritional deficiencies after switching to a ketogenic diet. However, the negative side effects are rare when the diet is medically supervised.

Scientists are currently studying new epileptic treatments. In the near future, doctors may be able to prevent seizures with deep brain stimulation and implantable pacemakers. These treatments will help epileptics prevent seizures and stay safe.