Epilepsy

I am a 255 days / 8 months, 2 weeks & 1 day old baby

Meaning and Definition

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that makes a person prone to having seizures. Nerve cells in the brain are constantly sending electrical signals to each other. When the normal process is interrupted — or when the signals suddenly fire at the same time — it can cause a seizure, resulting in a sudden change in consciousness, movement, or sensation. It's not painful, but it can be very upsetting.[1]



Diagnosis

Specially trained doctors called pediatric neurologists try to identify the cause of seizures in newborns and infants. Commonly recognized causes of epilepsy before the age of 1 year include:

* Newborn illnesses (lack of oxygen, infection, hemorrhage, etc.)
* Abnormal brain development in the womb
* Genetic disorders
* Encephalitis (an infection of the brain)
* Meningitis (an infection of the membranes covering the brain)
* Febrile illness related seizures (febrile seizures)[2]

Treatment

The treatment of seizures in newborns and infants is determined by the type of seizure and its cause. In some cases, no therapy is needed because the seizure is an isolated event, such as a single seizure associated with a high fever. In very rare cases, replacement of a missing nutrient can stop further seizures, as in low blood sugar levels or a calcium or vitamin B6 deficiency in a newborn.

But most of the time, babies who have epilepsy must be treated with seizure medicines. As with any other age group, doctors try to balance the benefits of seizure control against the risks of adverse effects from the medicines.[3]

epilepsy baby

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Notes:

[1] babycenter.com
[2] epilepsy.com
[3] ibid