Epilepsy is the most common childhood brain disorder, affecting about 470,000 children in the United States. After your child has a seizure, they can receive exceptional care from the team of pediatric neurologists and epilepsy experts at THINK Neurology for Kids. The team is known for its expertise in epilepsy and its remarkable ability to connect with children while developing a customized treatment that keeps seizures well controlled. You can also get a quick appointment at THINK Neurology for Kids. Call the office in The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar Land, or Austin, Texas, or schedule an appointment online today.

Epilepsy Q & A

What causes epilepsy?

Epilepsy, which is defined by recurring seizures, is diagnosed when your child has two or more seizures. Seizures occur when your child’s brain has a sudden burst of abnormal and uncontrolled electrical activity that disrupts normal brain function.

What symptoms develop due to epilepsy?

Epilepsy causes different types of seizures that are categorized according to where the seizure begins in your child’s brain and your child’s awareness during the seizure. Some types of seizures cause loss of consciousness, while your child may stay awake during others.

Specific symptoms define each type of seizure. As a group, however, they cause symptoms such as:

  • Jerking movements
  • Brief muscle twitches
  • Limp muscles
  • Rigid muscles (stiff body)
  • Staring into space
  • Not responding to words
  • Repetitive movements
  • Whole-body spasms
  • Breathing problems

Examples of repetitive movements include lip-smacking and hand clapping.

How are seizures evaluated?

The first step is learning about your child’s medical history and obtaining all the details about their seizure. In addition to learning what happened during the seizure, their doctor at THINK Neurology for Kids also needs to know what happened before the seizure.

Then your child’s doctor performs a physical examination and orders diagnostic tests. An electroencephalogram (EEG) is one of the most important tests during a seizure evaluation because it shows changes in the brain’s electrical patterns resulting from seizures.

Your child may also need blood tests and a CT scan or an MRI to look for abnormalities in the brain that could cause seizures. In some cases, patients may need a sleep test or an electrocardiogram.

Your child’s doctor may order a spinal tap to rule out an infection. Other diagnostic tests may be needed if their doctor at THINK Neurology for Kids suspects conditions such as Chiari malformation, stroke, and heart arrhythmias.

What is the treatment for epilepsy?

The first line of epilepsy treatment is medication to control the seizures. There are many possible medications, however, and your child may not respond to the first. Their doctor and healthcare team at THINK Neurology for Kids prescribe the one that seems best for your child’s age, health, and type of seizures, but each child metabolizes medications differently. As a result, you may go through some trial-and-error.

Beyond medication, other types of treatments are available, including:

  • Dietary therapy (ketogenic diet, modified Atkins diet)
  • Vagus nerve stimulation
  • Brain stimulation
  • Brain surgery 

To get exceptional care for your child’s epilepsy, call THINK Neurology for Kids or schedule an appointment online.