Seizure Disorder Child
Seizure disorder is caused by abnormal brain function. It can be hard to find the cause. Some things that may play a role are:
- Genetic disorders
- Brain abnormalities or harm, such as infection, trauma, tumor, or bleeding into the brain
Things that may raise a child's risk of seizure disorder are:
- Premature birth or low birth weight
- Damage to the brain during birth
- Abnormal brain structure
- Traumatic brain injury
- Brain infection
- Brain tumor
- A history of seizures due to fevers
- A seizure within the first month after birth
- A family history of seizure disorder
Symptoms depend on the type of disorder a child has. They may be:
- Aura—a feeling at the start of a seizure, such as an odd smell or sound or spots in front of the eyes
- Staring, eye blinking, or eye rolling
- Loss of consciousness
- Jerking of a limb
- Jerking of muscles
- Hand rubbing, lip smacking, or picking at clothing
- Not being able to control passing urine (pee) or stool (poop)
- Feeling very tired or confused after an episode
The doctor will ask about the child’s symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.
The electrical activity of the brain will be checked. This can be done with an electroencephalogram (EEG). It can confirm the diagnosis.
Pictures of the brain and structures around it may also be taken to confirm the diagnosis. This can be done with:
- MRI scan
- CT scan
The goal of treatment is to control seizures and improve quality of life. Treatments choices are:
There are medicines that are used to manage seizure disorder. The medicines that are chosen depend on the type of seizures and symptoms a child has. Antiepileptic medicines are a common choice. In some children, more than one medicine may be used.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
With VNS, a device is implanted in the chest to give electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve. This nerve runs from the brain to beyond the stomach. VNS can prevent seizures or make them happen less often. Medicine may still be needed.
A ketogenic diet is very strict. It is high in fat and low in carbohydrates and proteins. It can decrease the frequency of seizures. Since children need proper nutrients, a dietitian will need to be involved.
Surgery may be done if medicine does not help or causes too many side effects. It removes the area of the brain that starts the seizure. Surgery is only an option if the child has specific parts of the brain involved.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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