Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures. Approximately one third of people with cerebral palsy also have some degree of epilepsy. It is accepted that in people with both conditions, the etiology is related; that is, the same brain injury/disorder responsible for the cerebral palsy is most likely the cause of the epilepsy. Though epilepsy cannot be cured, with proper medication, it can be controlled with the same degree of success in children with CP as in those without. Epilepsie bei Kindern
Medical professionals are reluctant to diagnosis someone as having epilepsy until they’ve experienced more than one unprovoked seizure. In its simplest explanation, an epileptic seizure is the result of an overload of electronic signals to the brain that results in a disruption of normal brain functionality. In varying degrees of severity, a seizure can result in a loss of consciousness, convulsions, involuntary muscle spasm, loss of memory, loss of attention, sleepiness and/or emotional outbursts.
A seizure (or series of seizures) are categorized as “symptomatic” if they have an identifiable cause such as a brain injury, disease or other abnormality. They are categorized as “cryptogenic” (or “idiopathic seizures”) if there is no readily identifiable root cause. Doctor’s may look for a genetic predisposition to seizures.
If your child has experienced an event you feel may indicate a seizure, he or she needs to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. An electroencephalogram (EEG) can be performed that will scan and record your child’s brainwaves providing information that a neurologist can analyze for indications of epilepsy.
Seizures cannot be stopped once they begin. The most important thing to do in the event you are with someone in the throes of a seizure is to ensure their environment is safe and comfortable. Do not try to hold them still or restrict their movements. Do not put anything in their mouths. Instead, quickly move away nearby furniture with sharp, hard edges or any other potential hazards that could be of harm to someone experiencing uncontrollable movement. Surround them with soft pillows and blankets for both the episode itself and the recovery period that will follow.
As previously mentioned, a single seizure is not necessarily indicative of a seizure disorder, but it is cause for concern. Your doctor should advise you on how to monitor your child’s seizure should a second one occur, including: the time and duration, the body parts affected, the eye movements, control of the bladder or bowels, loss of consciousness, confusion and general appearance. You should also know that if your child experiences breathing problems, a seizure lasting 10 minutes or longer, a noticeable change in their color (extreme pallor or blueness) or if they experience repetitive seizures without recovery, you need to call 911 without hesitation.
If it determined that your child has a seizure disorder, he or she will probably be put on medications aimed at controlling future seizures. In extreme cases, surgery can be performed to either remove the area of the brain producing the seizures or to interrupt the nerve pathways through which the seizure impulses spread through the brain.