Treatment for Epilepsy in Children

Epilepsy Information 2012

Treatment for Epilepsy in Children

While most epilepsy cases are known to be benign in nature, there is still a pressing need for implementing programs on treatment for epilepsy in children. For one, persistent seizures can lead to accidents if it strikes at an inopportune time. There are also social and learning implications tied to persistent seizures that can dis-enfranchise children during their formative years.

To this end, doctors have developed many options for treatment for epilepsy in children. Here are some of those treatment options as currently offered by experts and specialists in hospitals around the world.

Medications for controlling seizures and convulsions. There are many types of commercial medications specifically designed to target the symptoms related to seizures. Examples include Phenobarbitals, Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, and Valproic Acid among others.

The challenge with using anti-convulsive medications in the treatment for epilepsy in children is in the fact that finding the right dosage can be problematic at the onset. Currently, there is no standard for prescribing the right dosage as this depends on multiple factors including the child’s height and weight, the specific symptoms observed, as well as the frequency of the convulsions. Getting the dosage right requires trial-and-error on the part of the doctor as well as assistance on the part of family members to observe the perceived effects of each medication. However, there is great promise in this area as current medical statistics have shown a 70% chance of the patient becoming seizure-free as the medication dosages are fine-tuned to the specific cases.

Ketogenic Diet. Although considered one of the older options for treatment for epilepsy in children, a ketogenic diet is known to yield positive effects for many patients. The science behind the ketogenic diet argues that depriving the body of carbohydrates forces the endocrine system to excrete ketones which are known to control seizures. For children, prescribing a ketogenic diet is problematic because the nature of the diet will often contradict with the food cravings of the patient but diligent follow-through is known to lead to positive effects that can help treat seizures.

Surgery. Of all the treatment for epilepsy in children, surgery remains to be the most controversial and this is for a very good reason; surgery is risky and the side effects can be very serious. Still, in cases where there is a known physical problem causing the epilepsy, surgery can be used to correct the anatomical abnormality which can help cure the epilepsy outright.

Whether benign or not, it is good to be aware of the many options for treatment for epilepsy in children. The pervasive effects of regular seizures can offset a child’s quality of life, causing them to lose confidence in themselves. For parents, this is an unacceptable scenario that has to be corrected immediately in order to give the child the best chance at succeeding in life. For this, careful deliberation must be done to select the right treatment option for children in order to maximize the likelihood of a permanent cure without unnecessarily taking in any more of the side effects that can accompany these various treatment options.

The good news about epilepsy in children is that in most cases in goes away with age. For this reason treatment for epilepsy in children can be reduced or possibly not needed at all in a few short years.