Epilepsy in children or childhood epilepsy is a brain disorder or nervous system disease that attacks the brain mostly at the time of childhood. Children who suffer from this disease manage to overcome their seizures when they reach the stage of youth if they are treated correctly.
Approximately more than 35% of known cases of epilepsy are detected in young people under 15 years of age and in most cases, childhood epilepsy progresses satisfactorily and responds to treatment. However, it is essential that parents help their child in this process.
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a disease better known as a chronic ailment of the nervous system, induced by the electrical and chemical activity of the brain. Shaking can happen due to brain dislocations, including head trauma, infections and even poisoning.
Another reason is due to cerebrovascular problems before birth. A person is epileptic when he suffers several spontaneous epileptic explosions.
Causes of Epilepsy in Children
In 50% of children with epilepsy affected by this terrible disease, the exact cause is not known. In certain cases of epilepsy, it has been confirmed that it is related to antecedents in the family.
These epileptic seizures in children and young people occur at any time and in any person. Usually in young children. Also many times in women during pregnancy and even long after delivery.
The symptoms of epilepsy in newborn babies are recurrent in recent times, between the third and eighth month of life. This benign infantile epilepsy is distinguished by the appearance of repeated febrile seizures in healthy children.
The majority of children with this disease manage to lead a healthy and normal life.
Types of epilepsy in children
Among the types of epilepsy in children, we have:
- The Crisis of absence: the child is left observing cluelessly is totally absent.
- The second is called Generalized Seizure, which is the violent loss of consciousness, descent to the ground and agitation of the whole body.
What factors can trigger childhood epilepsy?
Mostly, the convulsions that children face start naturally, in front of a scenario where it does not seem that anything could have caused the attack of childhood epilepsy. Triggers are usually problems of intellectual growth during pregnancy.
What factors trigger Epilepsy in Children?
Other factors that may be involved are the lack of ventilation during or after delivery, with the risk of suffering head injuries, brain tumors, encephalitis or meningitis or a very prolonged febrile seizure. Also, as we have said above, due to the family history that suffers from epilepsies
It is called focal seizure when electrical release is generated only in one part of the brain. It is called generalized seizure if it harms the entire brain at once. Not all cases of epilepsy can cause loss of consciousness.
Not necessarily all episodes of your child can be considered critical or with signs and symptoms of epilepsy.
The febrile seizures are not considered epilepsy. Consequently, a child will manifest epilepsy when he suffers two or more seizures.
Similarly, it will also be considered when the child is in vomiting or excessive sweating followed by unusual physical movements in it, when there is a loss of consciousness during prolonged periods or if the child has aggressive muscle contractions frequently.
Diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy in Children
In addition to a clinical file and the physical and neurological review, certain complementary studies are performed such as blood tests, electroencephalogram (EEG) and imaging tests such as CT and cranial magnetic resonance, which allow the detection of lesions in the brain.
And the big question, can it be cured?
Medications for epilepsy stop seizures, but they do not cure it. If these medications are ingested regularly, the situation can be controlled and controlled. Not all drugs are acceptable to everyone who has this childhood brain disorder disease.
Many of the drugs work to restore the chemical balance of the neurons and if they are delivered correctly they can control the seizures. No treatment for epilepsy is miraculous. It depends on the type of attack or the diagnosis and treatment that the doctor indicates.
There are medications that could cause side effects and among the most common is fatigue. The child can be observed a little more slowly; who presents adulteration in the behavior and may possibly suffer stomach upsets the first days or weeks of starting treatment.
If you notice something strange it is advisable to go immediately to the pediatrician and it is advisable to avoid possible triggers that can cause a crisis, such as: traumatic brain injuries, prolonged fever or intense stress.
In the last 3 years new drugs have been developed that are administered depending on:
- Depending on the type of epilepsy in children
- The age at which the records of this disease began
- If there is another type of condition in the child
- And most importantly, if crises are controlled with drugs prescribed by the specialist
Childhood epilepsy can obtain a much more encouraging prognosis than adults because practically 70% of children do not have seizures and 80% of them are not subject to taking medication.
The rest of the population or children suffering from this disease, approximately 30%, do not respond to the use of medicines. Among the medicines to control epilepsies can be found Depakene, which contain valproic acid for a treatment of partial use.
Another drug that is prescribed is Trileptal, which helps prevent seizures when they occur partially and to treat partial seizures in adults is the Zonegran.
All these anticonvulsant medications are used for epileptic seizures.