Types and forms of epilepsy in children
Epilepsy in children is not uncommon. This disease can seriously frighten both the child and his parents, but in fact, it rarely poses a real threat to his health.
What is epilepsy?
In fact, epilepsy is not a specific disease, but a group that contains more than 60 species, but they share one thing: the presence of typical seizures. Doctors explain epilepsy a violation of the electrical activity of the brain. Periodic appearance of uncontrolled nerve impulses and is the cause of the seizures.
Epilepsy is a neurological disease. It seems quite rare, but the number of people suffering periodic seizures high. According to various sources, it can reach 0.5-1%. Particularly vulnerable to their children, because their nervous system is still forming. According to statistics, about 0.5-1% of children under the age of 15 suffer from some form of epilepsy.
At the same time, children may have seizures that are not epilepsy. High temperature, infectious diseases, high physical or mental loads can lead to early seizures.
The types of epilepsy
Most people think that an epileptic seizure is a convulsion of the whole body with rolled eyes and foam at the mouth. But this is only one of the forms of this disease. The classification of epilepsy includes dozens of types of seizures, but most often are the following:
- Generalized tonic-clonic seizure. Is the name of a typical attack of epilepsy the child has convulsions the whole body muscles are tense, he's unconscious. The attack lasted several minutes, after which all the muscles relax. In a few minutes he comes.
- Atonic seizure. During such a seizure, the child immediately relax all muscles. From the outside it may look like a faint.
- Absence seizures. The second most common type of seizures. If they have no seizures, and other external manifestations, the baby just kind of freezes for a few seconds, often in the middle of the movement. The child can be closed eyes, the upturned head, and sometimes his eyelids. During the attack he does not notice what is happening and not react to it. The attack lasts only a few seconds and often goes unnoticed.
In addition, the seizures may occur only during sleep or look like a mechanical repetition of movements. In most cases during a seizure the child's consciousness is absent or impaired, but in some cases it retains consciousness and speech.
Epilepsy also can be divided into benign and malignant. In the first case, with age and with medical support, the attacks have become rarer or even disappear altogether. In the secondcase, they occur more often, and sometimes even lead to organic changes in the brain . But in fact such cases are quite rare.
The causes of epilepsy in children
Parents who are faced with epilepsy children, always wondering why there was this disease, who's to blame. In fact, the reasons for its development are numerous:
- Pathology brain structure. Congenital abnormalities
Diagnosis of epilepsy in children
Even a single seizure similar to an epileptic, a child of any age is a reason to conduct a thorough diagnosis. First you need to contact your pediatrician or directly to a neurologist, who will further the selection of methods of diagnosis and treatment.
As a rule, for examination of children with suspected epilepsy, using the following methods:
- Survey. First the doctor performs a thorough survey of the parents of the child, and if the age – and himself. You need to install, how is the fit, how often they happen, what triggers, how the child feels after. If the child is in the age of reason, the doctor asks how he feels before a seizure, during and after it.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG). With this method the diagnosis, the neurologist can study the electrical activity of the brain. Depending on the type of epilepsy can require not one but several EEGs, and special forms: provocation of the attack, during a night's sleep, irritants and so on.
- MRI. MRI allows to study carefully the structure of the brain of the child to find possible deviations in its structure.
Based on the information gathered, make a prediction about the type and cause of epilepsy in the child, and to make predictions and to find a suitable method of therapy.
Methods of treatment of epilepsy in children
There is no single treatment regimens for epilepsy in children. In each case, the doctor has to pick out an individual therapy. Most often it includes such directions:
- Drug therapy. As a rule, choose it in the first place. Regularly use about 20 types of drugs such as diazepam, clonazepam, vigabatrin, luminal and so on. Can be administered as a monotherapy (treatment with a single drug) and complex scheme. To say how much the treatment will be effective can only be made after some time after the start.
- Surgical treatment. In severe seizures, while reducing the gaps between them, with a malignant form of epilepsy and the lack of positive response to medical therapy can be chosen surgical treatment. It should be noted that in Russiathis type of therapy is chosen to be rather rare, but in the world practice showed positive results. Special direction of this method of treatment – vagus nerve stimulation. This is a promising and effective method of therapy.
- Dietotherapy. In international practice received positive results of treatment of pediatric epilepsy through diet. A special type of power which causes the change of metabolism in the body is ketosis. For this it is necessary to radically change the diet, reducing the amount of carbohydrates by increasing the proportion of protein and fat. It's not clear exactly how the ketogenic diet reduces the number and frequency of seizures, but studies show that this method allows to achieve complete remission in 15-20% of cases and 50% — to reduce the frequency of seizures by half.
It should be noted that in some cases of epilepsy in children does not require treatment. But in any case, the decision should be made by a doctor only after a complete examination.
Life with epilepsy
Around the disease raised a lot of myths, fears, unfaithful and just misconceptions. In some cases, people with epilepsy refused to take to work, kids not going to daycare or school. Even in tolerant England in 1970 noted the law forbidding people with epilepsy to marry.
In fact, people suffering from this disease can lead a life, almost no different from the usual. They should not drive, work at jobs that require special attention and engage in extreme sports.
For the children of those limitations even less. Perhaps kindergarten can really stand in the question, but to protect him from his peers and translate to home schooling is not necessary. It's important to recognize the disease and begin to treat it, and it will help to get it under control.