Pediatric epilepsy, a condition that affects the nervous system, is the most common neurological problem in children. Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, affecting up to 1 percent of the population in the United States.
At Advanced Neurosurgery Associates (ANA), we are acutely aware that epilepsy represents a complicated combination of physical as well as psychological and emotional consequences. In fact, that’s why we emphasize our team approach to complete family care for our many pediatric epilepsy patients.
Research explains the impact of pediatric epilepsy on such areas as learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, anxiety and depression. But perhaps most instructive of all are the testimonials of past ANA patients, Stephanie Conklin and Victoria Vega, who speak on the emotional and psychological impact of their epilepsy history. Both have resumed productive and seizure-free lives following successful surgery at ANA.
Pediatric epilepsy, a condition that affects the nervous system, is the most common neurological problem in children.
Of the approximately 150,000 people in the U.S. who develop epilepsy each year, 20,000 to 45,000 of them are children and adolescents. But the highest risk group in the pediatric population for developing epilepsy are those ages 1 to 12 months.
Pediatric epilepsy is defined as two or more unprovoked seizures more than 24 hours apart in a child over one month old. Seizures are episodes of abnormal brain activity that cause changes in attention or behavior.
Pediatric epilepsy may be due to a medical condition or an injury that affects the brain, or the cause could be idiopathic (of unknown origin).
Common known causes of pediatric epilepsy include:
An ongoing treatment program is one approach to living with epilepsy, although there are instances when seizures might disappear. For example, some types of epilepsy ease at puberty, where children might appear to “outgrow” their seizures.
According to the American Epilepsy Society in a report, in contrast to the decrease in the rates of epilepsy surgery for adults, the rates of surgery in children is rising.
Experts are now weighing the risks-benefits of the current course of uncontrolled seizures as opposed to the risk of surgery. They are factoring in the fact that uncontrolled epilepsy is bad for the developing brain and quality of life.
Research also shows that epilepsy surgery in children is relatively safe when compared to other pediatric neurosurgery. In patients that meet the requirements for epilepsy surgery the results, in terms of seizure control can be very positive with minimal side effects and complications.
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