Mayo Clinic evaluates and treats nearly 8, adults and children with epilepsy each year. Its epilepsy care teams use advanced technology. Deep brain stimulation therapy is a surgical treatment which aims to reduce seizures not controlled with medication, and where surgery to treat the cause of. From medication and diet changes to implants and surgery, learn about the various options for epilepsy treatment.
An epileptologist is a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy. When problems occur such as seizures or side effects of medicine, the primary health provider may send the patient to a neurologist or epileptologists for specialized care.
People who have seizures that are difficult to control or who need advanced care for epilepsy may be referred to an epilepsy centers. Epilepsy centers are staffed by providers who specialize in epilepsy care, such as. Many epilepsy centers work with university hospitals and researchers. There are several ways you can find a neurologist or an epileptologist near you. Your primary care or family provider can tell you about types of specialists.
Self-management is what you do to take care of yourself. You can learn how to manage seizures and keep an active and full life. Begin with these tips:. Learn more about managing epilepsy.
Women who have epilepsy face special challenges. Hormonal changes can cause some women with epilepsy to have more seizures during their period. For women with epilepsy, there are also special concerns about pregnancy, because having a seizure and taking certain drugs during pregnancy may increase the risk of harm to the baby.
Women can take the following steps before and during pregnancy to lessen these risks. Most people with epilepsy live a full life. However, the risk of early death is higher for some. We know that the best possible seizure control and living safely can reduce the risk of epilepsy-related death.
Sudden death due to heart rhythm changes also happens in people who do not have seizures. The risk of sudden death is larger for people with major uncontrolled seizures. The seizure-free period ranges from a few months to over a year, depending on the state. Some states need a letter from your health provider to issue a license when a person has seizures that:. Learn state-specific information External about driving laws from the Epilepsy Foundation.
Sometimes people with epilepsy worry that exercise or sports may worsen their seizures. In fact, regular exercise may improve seizure control. In this diet, called a ketogenic diet, the body breaks down fats instead of carbohydrates for energy. After a few years, some children may be able to stop the ketogenic diet — under close supervision of their doctors — and remain seizure-free.
Consult a doctor if you or your child is considering a ketogenic diet. It's important to make sure that your child doesn't become malnourished when following the diet. Side effects of a ketogenic diet may include dehydration, constipation, slowed growth because of nutritional deficiencies and a buildup of uric acid in the blood, which can cause kidney stones. These side effects are uncommon if the diet is properly and medically supervised. Following a ketogenic diet can be a challenge.
Low-glycemic index and modified Atkins diets offer less restrictive alternatives that may still provide some benefit for seizure control. In vagus nerve stimulation, an implanted pulse generator and lead wire stimulate the vagus nerve, which leads to stabilization of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Deep brain stimulation involves implanting an electrode deep within your brain. The amount of stimulation delivered by the electrode is controlled by a pacemaker-like device placed under the skin in your chest.
A wire that travels under your skin connects the device to the electrode. A magnetic resonance imaging MRI scan of deep brain stimulation shows the location of electrodes placed in the brain. Mayo Clinic is one of a very few medical centers in the U. It's also a leader in advancing the diagnosis and treatment of people with autoimmune epilepsy syndromes and houses a leading neuroimmunology laboratory. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.
In addition, make healthy life choices, such as managing stress, limiting alcoholic beverages and avoiding cigarettes. Uncontrolled seizures and their effects on your life may at times feel overwhelming or lead to depression. It's important not to let epilepsy hold you back. You can still live an active, full life. If your seizures are so severe that you can't work outside your home, there are still ways to feel productive and connected to people. You may consider working from home.
Let people you work and live with know the correct way to handle a seizure in case they are with you when you have one. You may offer them suggestions, such as:.
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to a specialist, such as a doctor trained in brain and nervous system conditions neurologist or a neurologist trained in epilepsy epileptologist.
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot to talk about, it's a good idea to be well-prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor. Keep a detailed seizure calendar. Each time a seizure occurs, write down the time, the type of seizure you experienced and how long it lasted.
Also make note of any circumstances, such as missed medications, sleep deprivation, increased stress, menstruation or other events that might trigger seizure activity. Seek input from people who may observe your seizures, including family, friends and co-workers, so that you can record information you may not know.
Take a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot. Also, because you may not be aware of everything that happens when you're having a seizure, your doctor may want to ask questions of someone who has witnessed them. In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
Epilepsy care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version.
Diagnosis Diagnosing your condition. Vagus nerve stimulation In vagus nerve stimulation, an implanted pulse generator and lead wire stimulate the vagus nerve, which leads to stabilization of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Deep brain stimulation Deep brain stimulation involves implanting an electrode deep within your brain. Deep brain stimulation A magnetic resonance imaging MRI scan of deep brain stimulation shows the location of electrodes placed in the brain.
Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. References The epilepsies and seizures: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed May 24, Evaluation and management of the first seizure in adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's important to note that the CBD oil used in the clinical trials is vastly different than the artisanal cannabis products available in Colorado. In states like Colorado, where medical marijuana and its derivatives are legal, the content of CBD products is not regulated for purity or uniformity.
Pharmacy-grade products like Epidiolex have followed Good Manufacturing Processes, meaning that the CBD content is measured by rigorous standards and is carefully monitored for additives or contaminants. Even the equipment used for manufacturing these products meets rigorous standards. None of this is guaranteed to be true for the artisanal products. Medical providers at Children's Colorado do not prescribe or recommend medical marijuana outside of clinical trials at this time.
However, if a family chooses to explore the use of medical marijuana, we want to continue to provide care to their children. Most of these families have children with very complex medical needs, and Children's Colorado wants to continue to see them to help monitor them and the side effects they experience. In addition, we strongly suggest baseline testing prior to the administration of medical marijuana to further aid in the objective monitoring of seizure activity.
Epilepsy is a common neurological disease that affects 1 in 26 people at any point in their lifetime. Today more than three million Americans, including almost , children, live with epilepsy, with one-third living with treatment-resistant seizures. The recent stories we hear about the children who have had positive outcomes from the marijuana derivative, cannabidiol CBD , give reason for hope and should encourage further studies.
However, any treatment decision must involve an assessment of benefit versus risk. Although some cases reported in the media suggest potential for benefit, pediatric neurologists at Children's Colorado have also seen a number of cases where CBD has had no or minimal positive effect.
New Medical Device Treats Epilepsy With A Well-Timed Zap
In fact, there are more than 20 different medications now on the market to treat epilepsy. Older medications which are still used to treat epilepsy. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are not diagnosable if the patient has epilepsy that produces hallucinations or delusions. This article. The use of cannabis to treat epilepsy and other neurological conditions has been It is also the first ever FDA approved medication to treat seizures in Dravet.