Epilepsy in Children
What is epilepsy?
It is a medical condition where a child or an adult gets recurrent episode of fits or abnormal movements or seizures during which they might loss consciousness or might retain partial awareness.
Epilepsy in children – is this possible?
Epilepsy in children is not uncommon. Many children with epilepsy experience their first seizure at quite young age. 50 % – 60 % of epilepsies begin before age o16 yrs. So, if your child has developed epilepsy, you are not alone and, these days, there’s a good chance that her/his condition can be kept well under control with the help of modern medications with improved efficacy & improved expert knowledge & advice from the professionals.
What causes epilepsy?
In majority of cases, the cause of epilepsy is unknown. Most likely reason could be due to abnormality in the electrophysiology in the neuronal cells in some areas of the developing brain.
In others, the epilepsy may be the effect of an illness. It could be either due to meningitis or encephalitis, or it could be triggered by a malformation of either the entire or part of the brain. A problems with a child’s metabolism or an abnormality in the genetic material can cause epilepsy.
Damage to the certain parts of the brain either caused by a severe head injury or due to a difficult child birth also are common reasons for developing epilepsy.
Is epilepsy an inheritable condition – are the parents at fault?
The inheritance of epilepsy is a complicated issue & it is not very common. Even where a genetic link has been discovered for a particular type of epilepsy, there is often no other family member with the condition & your child could have this condition as the first one in your family.
Conditions similar to epilepsy – is this true?
Children of different age groups could present with a varieties of symptoms which would appear similar to epilepsy but those could be due to different conditions other than epilepsy. Hence it is very essential to explain the details of the symptoms to the doctor. Your detailed observation & knowledge of your child will help the doctor to reach at the correct diagnosis.
Epilepsy in India in comparison to the world:
In India the prevalence of epilepsy is 5.59 per 1000 population, i.e, there are approximately 5.59 individuals per 1000 population have epilepsy at any point in time. In the world, the prevalence rate of epilepsy by adolescence is 6 to 8 per 1000 population.
Incidence of epilepsy (i.e, annual rate of appearance of new cases) in developed countries is 40-70 per 100,000 population per year & it is higher (100 – 190 per 100,000 population) in developing countries.
Is there a cure for epilepsy?
Thre are several types of epilepsies with different diagnostic criterias. If the diagnosis is correct, as long as appropriate drugs are given in correct doses over correct duration in time, then it is possible to achieve reasonable control of epilepsy in up to 75 – 80% cases approximately.
How can someone prevent a seizure in epilepsy?
One should maintain a healthy life-style, he/she should take well nutritious balanced diet, should take regular daily physical exercise, take meals at right time, and makes sure that he / she is not excessively tired, then it is possible to keep the epilepsy to its minimum.