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Pediatric Neurology – Seizures

October 17, 2021


Other common conditions include seizures, which you’re going to hear about from one of our epileptologists, but we see lots of kids that have seizures. And seizures can occur at any age in children. In fact, 50% of all seizures, or I should say epilepsy, and what epilepsy means is you’ve had more than one seizure, but 50% of all epilepsies occur in children under age 11. So you can see that that’s one of the major things that we do. And many children will have one or two seizures and never have another seizure again. So it’s not always a major problem, but of course can be in a certain subset of children. But most children who have a seizure or two do very well. And in fact, 60% of children that have epilepsy under age 11 will outgrow it by age 11 or 12. So it’s very often what we call a benign or a pretty good condition to have, and children can do very well.

Occasional children are intractable, very hard to treat, have developmental disorders associated with their epilepsies. And that is a subset of children that we treat. And in those children, we struggle to control the seizures with medication typically. Rarely surgery, and sometimes we use special diets such as a ketogenic diet, which is a high fat, normal protein, low carbohydrate diet. And this helps seizures. And we’ve sort of known that for a couple thousand years, but it sometimes helps seizures. So we use all those things to try to treat seizures in children, which include medication in the subset of kids that are hard to treat, diets, sometimes surgery, but that’s actually less common than is seen in the popular press. I think there’s a very small subset of children that we actually do operate on for epilepsy.

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