A seizure happens when there are certain types of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. During a seizure, you may:
Stare into space
Have convulsions—abnormal jerking of the muscles
Experience abnormalities of sensation or emotion
If you have 2 or more seizures that are not due to an illness or other trigger, then it is considered a seizure disorder. This condition is also known as epilepsy.
Seizure disorders may be classified by the part of the brain they affect and the kinds of symptoms they cause. One way to categorize into two important groups is:
Generalized seizure disorder—onset is throughout the brain, not from a single focal location
Partial seizure disorder (focal seizure)—begins within certain areas of the brain
Prevent seizures—may be done through medications, surgery, or special therapies
Avoid factors that stimulate seizure activity
There are wide varieties of medications that may be used. These drugs may be given alone or in combination. Each drug may have particular side effects and interactions. Talk to your doctor about which medication is right for you.
Talk to your doctor if you are or plan to become pregnant.
If medication does not work or the side effects are too severe, you may need surgery. Surgery involves the removal of the seizure focus. This is the area of the brain that has been identified as starting the seizure. Surgery is only an option for people who have very localized areas of the brain involved.
A brain responsive neurostimulator, an intracranial implanted device, can stop seizures in those with medically refractory epilepsy as they begin.
A device is implanted in the chest. It will provide intermittent electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve. It is not clear how this works. Somehow it prevents or decreases the frequency of seizures. You may still require medication. The dosage may be less.
This is a strict diet. It is high in fat and low in carbohydrates and proteins. This diet keeps the body’s chemical balance in ketosis. Ketosis decreases the frequency of seizures. The reason is unknown. Following a
is most successful in children. It is less successful in adults.
Fisher RS, Van Emde Boas W, Blume W, et al. Epileptic seizures and epilepsy: Definition proposed by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE).
Geller EB, Skarpaas TL, Gross RE, et al. Brain-responsive neurostimulation in patients with medically intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2017;58(6):994-1004.
Serafini A, Lukas RV, VanHaerents S, et al. Paraneoplastic epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2016;61:51-58.
12/20/2007 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance
http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115086/Epilepsy-in-adults: 2007 safety alerts for drugs, biologics, medical devices, and dietary supplements: Carbamazepine (marketed as Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol and generics). Medwatch. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL)