General: There is currently no cure for Sturge-Weber syndrome. Instead, treatment focuses on reducing symptoms of the disorder and increasing the patient's quality of life. The main focus is to reduce the severity and frequency of seizures. This is because uncontrolled seizures can worsen existing neurological symptoms or cause new symptoms to develop.
Anticonvulsants: Anticonvulsant medications may be used to control seizures. These drugs are typically taken once daily to help prevent seizures from occurring. Phenobarbital (Luminal® or Solfoton®) is one of the oldest and safest anticonvulsants for children. Valproic acid (Depakene® or Depakote®) has also been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for seizures in children. However, seizures caused by Sturge-Weber syndrome are often resistant to medication. In such cases, surgery may be considered.
Surgery: If seizures do not respond well to anticonvulsant medications, surgery may be considered. Surgical procedures have been performed to remove or disconnect part of the brain that is affected by the abnormal blood vessels. This type of procedure is often called a hemispherectomy or hemispherotomy. Although this treatment has been proven to be very effective, it is a very serious surgery that is associated with many risks, including brain damage. Therefore, individuals should discuss the potential benefits and risks of all procedures before making decisions about medical treatment.
Prescription eye drops: Prescription eye drops that reduce the pressure in the eyes are the first line of treatment for glaucoma. Some of the most commonly prescribed anti-glaucoma eye drops include timolol (Timoptic®), betaxolol (Betoptic®), dorzolamid/timolol (Cosopt®), latanoprost (Xalatan®), and bimatoprost (Lumigan®). Without treatment, the loss of vision usually worsens over the course of many months or several years.
Physical therapy: Patients who have muscle weakness may benefit from physical therapy. During therapy, a variety of methods, including exercises, stretches, traction, electrical stimulation, and massage, are used to help increase strength and flexibility in patients.
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