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Epilepsy in Children

Epilepsy in Children

What is Epilepsy

Epilepsy, commonly known as epilepsy, is a chronic (long-term) disease that can occur in different ways as a result of the emergence of some abnormal discharges other than the normal electrical activity of the brain.

The incidence of epilepsy in childhood is twice that of adults. These are often due to certain genetic and congenital diseases. It is estimated that approximately 1% of children admitted to the emergency department are due to epileptic seizures.

Epilepsies, which generally occur due to congenital or subsequent brain damage, can occur at any age of life, starting from birth. On the other hand, there are also epileptic patients whose seizures start at the age of 7-8 years due to the problem caused by benign tumors in the brain tissue.

Epilepsy Causes

The causes of epilepsy in children are:

Congenital diseases
Microbial diseases affecting the brain development of the baby during pregnancy
Brain injury, bleeding and lack of oxygen to the brain that may occur during birth
Postpartum meningitis, brain inflammation, accidental brain injury
Brain tumors
Prolonged febrile seizures

Epilepsy Symptoms

Symptoms of epilepsy in children may vary depending on the type of epilepsy.

In simple partial seizures, the electrical discharge is limited to a specific area of ​​the brain; There is no loss of consciousness.
In complex partial seizures, although the electrical discharge is limited to a certain region of the brain, unconsciousness is experienced. Generally, seizures occur with movements such as licking, chewing, and pulling on clothes.
In generalized seizures, the entire brain is affected by electrical discharge, and unconsciousness occurs.
In seizures called “grand-mal”, there is a sudden contraction and relaxation of the muscles.
In the type called “petit-mal”, the child experiences a seizure without any change in body shape, and is not aware of what is going on around him. There is a decrease in school success, especially in these children.

Epilepsy Diagnostic Methods

Your doctor, who will question your family history and your child’s medical history with a detailed physical examination, may request a number of tests in order to clarify the diagnosis and decide on the type of treatment.

It is a type of examination that allows the examination of brain waves. It is possible to determine the character of the electrical waves in the brain and from where in the brain to which direction.

MR Examination, on the other hand, can be used to check whether there is a problem (tumor, developmental disorder, etc.) in the anatomy of the brain that may cause seizures.

Epilepsy in Children

Epilepsy Treatment Methods

Currently, the primary treatment of epilepsy is drug therapy and is administered by pediatric neurologists. 70% of children respond positively to drug treatment. But the other 30 percent exhibit what’s called “drug-resistant epilepsy,” no matter what drug you take, meaning they don’t benefit from the drug.

Today, if a child who has tried 2 drugs in the treatment of epilepsy does not benefit from both drugs, the patient’s surgery, that is, epilepsy surgery, comes to the fore. Whether the child will benefit from surgery is determined by detailed examinations.

Success of epilepsy surgery can reach 80% in well-selected patients. Unfortunately, not every child with resistant epilepsy is a candidate for surgery. In order for the child to be a candidate for epilepsy surgery, the seizures must originate from a certain area and the area to be removed should not have an important function such as language and vision.

Apart from surgical treatment, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and ketogenic diet, that is, a diet rich in fat, low in carbohydrates and protein, can also be used in children who are resistant to drug therapy and are not good candidates for surgery. If children are suitable for these methods, the number of seizures can be considerably reduced.

What To Do When Your Child Has An Epileptic Seizure

4 important things that the child’s family or relatives should do during an epileptic seizure:
During the seizure, lay your child in a horizontal position on their right or left side.
Put a pillow under his head, loosen the collar if it is tight.
Do not shake it, do not pour water on it, do not try to put anything in its mouth.
Take it to the nearest health facility or contact the doctor watching your child.

"The content of the page is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment."