Consumer Health: Epilepsy in children – Mayo Clinic News Network

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, which makes this an excellent time to study epilepsy in children.

Epilepsy, also called seizure dysfunction, is widespread, and there are lots of varieties. About 1 in 26 folks in the U.S. will develop the illness in their lifetime. It impacts folks of all races, ethnic backgrounds and ages. Anyone can develop epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a mind dysfunction that causes recurring seizures. Having a single seizure does not imply you have got epilepsy. Epilepsy is identified should you’ve had a minimum of two unprovoked seizures a minimum of 24 hours aside. Unprovoked seizures do not have a transparent trigger.


Seizure signs fluctuate relying on the kind of seizure. Because epilepsy is brought on by exercise in the mind, seizures can have an effect on any mind course of.

Seizure signs could embody:

  • Temporary confusion.
  • A staring spell.
  • Stiff muscular tissues.
  • Uncontrollable jerking actions of the legs and arms.
  • Loss of consciousness or consciousness.
  • Psychological signs corresponding to worry, anxiousness or deja vu.

Sometimes, folks with epilepsy could have modifications in their habits. They additionally could have signs of psychosis.

Most folks with epilepsy are likely to have the identical sort of seizure every time. Symptoms normally are related from episode to episode.


Epilepsy has no identifiable trigger in about half the folks with the situation. In the opposite half, the situation could also be traced or linked to numerous components, together with:

  • Genetic affect.
  • Head trauma.
  • Brain abnormalities, together with mind tumors, vascular abnormalities and stroke.
  • Infections, together with meningitis, HIV, viral encephalitis and a few parasitic infections.
  • Prenatal harm.
  • Developmental problems, together with autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity dysfunction, additionally referred to as ADHD.

High fevers in childhood typically might be related to seizures. Children who’ve seizures because of high fevers typically will not develop epilepsy, although. The danger of epilepsy will increase if a baby has a protracted fever-related seizure, one other nervous system situation or a household historical past of epilepsy.


Medication typically is the primary course of treatment for epilepsy. Finding the suitable remedy or mixture of medicines, and the optimum dosages, might be complicated, although. Your kid’s healthcare skilled will take into account your kid’s age and general health, and the frequency of seizures, when selecting which medicines to prescribe. Many children with epilepsy who aren’t experiencing epilepsy signs ultimately can discontinue medicines and reside a seizure-free life.

For some children with drug-resistant epilepsy, surgery is an option. Epilepsy surgical procedure is taken into account when a minimum of two anti-seizure medicines have didn’t work. The surgical procedure removes or alters an space of the mind the place seizures originate.

Experts at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center are also learning neurostimulation remedies for epilepsy, another therapy for children with extreme epilepsy or for many who can not have surgical procedure. This therapy applies electrical energy to the central nervous system to cut back seizure frequency and severity.

Connect with different mother and father and caregivers speaking about children with epilepsy in the Epilepsy & Seizures Support Groups on Mayo Clinic Connect, a web based affected person neighborhood moderated by Mayo Clinic.

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