Epilepsy Treatment

As there is no known cure for epilepsy, treatment for epilepsy is meant to control seizures with the goal of ultimately becoming seizure-free. Antiepileptic drugs are generally the first choice in treatment of epilepsy. According to Epilepsy Action, approximately 70 percent of people with epilepsy control or eliminate their seizures entirely with antiepileptic drugs.

There are many different types of medication for seizure treatment. Some medications work more effectively in treating certain epilepsy syndromes than others. If one medication doesn’t work for you, your doctor will likely prescribe another. If, however, epilepsy symptoms don’t respond to medication, there are a variety of other options for treatment of epilepsy available.

Surgical Treatment of Epilepsy

Seizure medication tends to be less effective in cases where the seizures are the result of a tumor, malformation or scar in a particular area of the brain. In these cases, surgery may be required to remove the affected portion of the brain. Once the affected area has been removed, epilepsy symptoms should decrease or disappear altogether.

Devices for Seizure Treatment

Certain devices may be implanted into the body to help control seizures. These computerized electrical devices may be implanted into the chest or skull. The purpose of these devices is to stimulate brain activity to prevent the occurrence of seizures.

Diet and Epilepsy Management

The ketogenic diet is the most common diet treatment for epilepsy. It’s a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has proven to be effective in reducing seizures in some individuals, especially children. Talk to your doctor before you begin any dietary changes to treat epilepsy symptoms.

Natural Treatment of Epilepsy

A holistic approach to seizure treatment involves being as healthy as possible. Choosing to live an active lifestyle and eat a healthy, balanced diet is good medical treatment for any health condition. While these things alone may not prevent seizures, they can help to boost the effectiveness of medication and prevent some of the triggers for seizures (such as stress and fatigue). Avoidance therapy (avoiding seizure triggers) and aromatherapy are other natural treatments that may produce positive effects.

Vitamin and Supplement Treatment for Epilepsy

Some researchers believe that many people with epilepsy may possess some vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Supplementation with vitamins and minerals may assist in proper functioning of the central nervous system and can be taken as a relatively safe complementary treatment for epilepsy.

Hormone Treatment of Epilepsy

Hormone therapy may be an effective means of seizure treatment in women whose seizures are provoked by hormonal changes tied to their menstrual cycle. However, the effectiveness and safety of this method is still being tested.

Acupuncture and Acupressure Treatment of Epilepsy

In some cases, acupuncture and/or acupressure may help to relieve seizures and other epilepsy symptoms such as anxiety and depression. These techniques may be effective complementary treatments for epilepsy, depending on the nature and frequency of seizures.

Neurobehavioral/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment

Behavioral therapists view epilepsy as a behavioral disorder, and consider seizures to be emotional reactions to external problems. Behavioral treatment has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety (two common epilepsy symptoms) in some individuals.

Resources

Dekker, P. (2002). Epilepsy: A manual for medical and clinical officers in Africa. Retrieved March 10, 2010, from http://www.who.int/mental_health/media/en/639.pdf

Donner, E. (2006). Treatment of epilepsy. Retrieved March 25, 2010, from http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Epilepsy/Treatment-of-Epilepsy.aspx?articleID=6757