Epilepsy & Seizures

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    AScripps Health answered

    If it happens only one time, a seizure is an isolated incident and will stop once the underlying causes have been removed. However, if seizures continue, and there’s no obvious provoking factor, the cause may be epilepsy.

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    AScripps Health answered

    Some people have brief memory lapses. Others experience more pronounced seizures, in which they lose consciousness, fall down and shake.

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    A seizure is considered a medical emergency, and a medical doctor should evaluate anyone who suffers a seizure. The doctor will determine what caused the seizure to occur, and if and when the athlete can return to play. Those diagnosed with epilepsy should not return to play.

    (This answer provided for NATA by the Georgia College & State University Athletic Training Education Program.)
  • 1 Answer
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    Complications of epilepsy include the following:

    • Injury: If an individual falls during a seizure, they may sustain a head injury. Drowning is a risk if the individual has a seizure while swimming or bathing.

    • Loss of consciousness and awareness: A seizure that causes either loss of awareness or control can be dangerous if the individual is driving a car or operating other equipment. Medications used to control seizures also can cause drowsiness, which may affect the individual's driving ability. Many states have licensing restrictions related to the individual's ability to control seizures.

    • Pregnancy: Seizures during pregnancy pose dangers to both mother and baby and certain anti-epileptic medications increase the risk of birth defects. A doctor will advise an individual with epilepsy who is considering becoming pregnant. Most women with epilepsy can become pregnant and have a healthy baby, but many need to adjust their medications and be carefully monitored throughout pregnancy.

    • Life-threatening complications: Life-threatening complications from epilepsy are uncommon, but do occur. Individuals who have severe, prolonged, or continuous seizures (status epilepticus) are at increased risk of permanent brain damage and death. Individuals with epilepsy, particularly those with poorly controlled epilepsy, also have a small risk of a condition called sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP). The risk of SUDEP increases if the individual is having seizures at an early age, has frequent seizures that involve more than one area of the brain, or continues to have seizures despite treatment with medications.

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  • 1 Answer
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    AHealthwise answered

    Despite the success of the ketogenic diet in some children, many doctors are skeptical of its use. It may pose other health risks to your child, and it is extremely hard to follow. Until more is known about how the ketogenic diet works and what its effects are, some doctors may not recommend using it. If you are thinking about having your child try the ketogenic diet, keep in mind that it has several drawbacks:

    • For the diet to prevent seizures, your child has to follow it exactly. The amounts and types of foods eaten have to be measured precisely. And preparing meals can take a lot of time.
    • The diet does not work for some children, no matter how closely they follow it.
    • The ketogenic diet is not a healthy eating plan for children or adults.
    • People on the diet usually need to take vitamin and mineral supplements.


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  • 2 Answers
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    The ketogenic diet is a special kind of diet for patients with epilepsy. It may be recommended by your healthcare provider as an adjunct to seizure control medications if those medications alone are not working to prevent seizures in your child. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. This kind of diet is difficult to follow and is often started in a hospital setting. A nutritionist usually follows the patient very closely and offers suggestions for meals and snacks. There are benefits to taking on this difficult diet, and it has been shown in case studies to cut seizure recurrences in 50% of patients and to eliminate seizures in 10 to 15% of patients.
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  • 1 Answer
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    AHealthwise answered

    Since the cause of epilepsy is often not clear, it generally is not possible to prevent it.

    Head injury, a common cause of epilepsy, may be preventable. Always wear your seat belt in the car and a helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle, skiing, skating or horseback riding.



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    AHealthwise answered

    Rasmussen syndrome is a form of childhood epilepsy that causes frequent, severe seizures. The seizures damage one side (hemisphere) of the brain, often resulting in gradual loss of movement and sensation on one side of the body, problems with mental development, partial loss of vision in one eye and speech and language problems.

    Children with Rasmussen syndrome usually develop seizures before age 10. Infections such as meningitis and encephalitis may play some role in causing the condition.

    Drug therapy is almost never successful in treating Rasmussen syndrome. For some children with the condition, although, a type of brain surgery called hemispherectomy can prevent seizures and improve some of the problems that may occur with the epilepsy.



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  • 2 Answers
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    AHealthwise answered
    Benign focal childhood epilepsy is a common form of epilepsy in children, causing seizures that make the muscles all over the body stiffen and jerk. Benign focal childhood epileptic seizures usually occur at night.

    Benign focal childhood epilepsy has no known cause. But it may run in families. The condition develops in school-age children and disappears during the teen years. Medicine can usually control the seizures, but treatment for seizures is not always needed.

    Most children with benign focal childhood epilepsy have normal intelligence and do not have other brain or nervous system disorders.

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. To learn more visit Healthwise.org

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  • 1 Answer
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    AAmerican Red Cross answered
    • Do not put anything in the person’s mouth or between the teeth.
    • People having seizures rarely bite their tongues or cheeks with enough force to cause significant bleeding; however, some blood may be present.