Pediatric epilepsy, sometimes referred to as seizure disorder, is a condition characterized by recurrent seizures occuring in a young patient. Seizures occur when groups of nerve cells in the brain temporarily signal abnormally and excessively. There are many types of seizures and, depending upon the part of the brain that is affected, the symptoms can vary greatly. Pediatric seizures are considered a very serious matter in the medical community and should be treated with the utmost diligence and care.
Diagnosing child or teenage epilepsy can be complex due to the many causes and types of seizures. When epilepsy is suspected, one of the most common tests used to confirm the diagnosis is the electroencephalogram (EEG). During this non-invasive and painless test, sensors called electrodes are attached to the patient’s head and connected by a wire to a computer. The computer records the electrical activity of the patient’s brain and visualizes it as wavy lines on the screen or on paper. The purpose of the EEG is to tell your physician where in the brain the seizures are occurring and what type of seizure is being experienced. An MRI scan or a CT scan may also be performed to determine if an underlying condition such as a brain malformation or brain tumor is present. For further diagnosis, more invasive tests may be required.
Treatment of pediatric epilepsy varies from patient to patient. Based on results of the diagnostic procedures performed, a course of treatment will be recommended that is appropriate for the severity of the condition. The mainstray treatment for most people is anti-epileptic drugs. If the seizures are not well controlled by medication, surgery may be necessary.
Physicians on the medical staff at the Pediatric Sleep Institute will provide the necessary information for your physician to accurately detect, diagnose and treat your child’s epilepsy or seizure disorder.