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.
Do’s during a seizure:
- Protect the child from any injury, remove from any source of electric or fire
- Put a thin cushion under the head
- Help him / her breathing by putting the person on recovery position (lie on the left side of body)
- Stay calm, stay with the person until seizure stops & gently reassure the person
Don’ts during a seizure:
- Don’t restraint the person
- Don’t move them unless they are in danger
- Don’t put anything in the mouth
- Don’t give any drink or food until the person recovers completely
Services offered at IN-K:
- Twice a month Epilepsy clinic for children (2nd & 4th Tuesday of the month)
- Multi-disciplinary care provisions for children with difficult/complex epilepsy for psychological assessment of child’s abilities, counselling for child & the family, psychiatrist’s support in appropriate cases, help for behaviour management, & guidance from special educator or child’ learning.
- Neurodiagnostic service including high resolution MRI epilepsy protocol scan, , other pathological investigations.
- Neurophysiological investigations – Electroencephalography (EEG) both awake & sleep record, prolonged Video-Telemetry & EEG in ventilated patients at ITU.
Please contact Dr R Samanta, Consultant Paediatric Neurologist, at IN-K on tel: 033-2286-9999 for appoitment & further information on the services available for children with Epilepsy at IN-K.