The treatment of seizures has expanded to include medication, devices, diet, and surgery. The goal of all epilepsy treatment is to prevent further seizures, avoid side effects, and make it possible for people to lead active lives.
When first diagnosed with epilepsy or seizure disorder the medical provider will try the first line of defense: medication.
Some medicines tend to work better for certain kinds of seizures than for others. If one medicine fails, another may work better. A combination of medications may be tried too. The medications don’t fix the problem that causes seizures. Instead they work to stop seizures from occurring.
Pharmacy Savings Program
RxCut® can save you up to 87% on your prescription medication. This card can be used by anybody whether they have insurance or no insurance. It can be used on pet prescriptions as well. You can call the EFTX office for cards or you can just give the pharmacy the information on this card. To check savings on your medication and pharmacy close to you go to www.rxcut.com/EFT.
If you have failed two or more anti-epileptic drugs it may be time to reach out to an epileptologist in a Level III or IV Epilepsy Center.
Epilepsy centers provide a patient centered team to care for people with seizures and epilepsy. Testing is available to diagnose whether a person has seizures and the type of epilepsy they may have. Epilepsy experts can help people explore all treatment options.
You can find an accredited epilepsy center closest to you through the National Association of Epilepsy Centers.
In some cases, imaging tests can detect the area of the brain responsible for the seizure. If this area of the brain is very small and well defined, doctors may perform surgery to remove the portions of the brain that are responsible for the seizures. If your seizures originate in a part of the brain that cannot be removed, your doctor may still be able to perform a procedure that can help prevent the seizures from spreading to other areas of the brain.
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS): VNS therapy, a surgeon does an operation to put a battery in the upper left chest. The battery sends regular bursts of electric energy to the brain through a large nerve in the neck (the vagus nerve).
Responsive neruostimulation (RNS): For RNS, a surgeon does an operation to put a battery-powered neurostimulator device in the skull. The device is attached to one or two wires implanted in the brain at the place where seizure activity starts.
Thermal Ablation: A laser fiber is guided toward the source of a patient’s seizures through a small hole in the skull. The laser heats and destroys the small, well-defined area of abnormal brain tissue, leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. The entire procedure is viewed in real time on MR images that show thermal maps displaying the distribution of heat to ensure safety and successful target treatment.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil
The Texas Compassionate Use Act allows the use of low-THC cannabis for intractable epilepsy. A patient may be recommended low-THC cannabis if:
1. A patient is a permanent resident of Texas
2. A patient is diagnosed with intractable epilepsy
3. The qualified physician determines the risk of the medical use of low-THC cannabis by a patient is reasonable in light of the potential benefit for the patient, and
4. A second qualified physician has concurred with the determination.
Ketogenic Diet: The classic ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, is prescribed and monitored by a physician and nutritionist and can help control seizures in some people. It can help both children and adults with refractory seizures.
Modified Atkins: has some similar components to the traditional ketogenic diet, can be effective.
Low Glycemic Index Treatment: The LGIT for epilepsy was developed in 2002 as an alternative to the ketogenic diet (KD) for treatment of intractable epilepsy. The LGIT monitors not only the total amount of carbohydrates consumed daily, but focuses on carbohydrates that have a low Glycemic Index.