Since epileptic seizures negatively affect a child’s motor, social, and emotional development and can lead to permanent damage in the future, it is important not to delay treatment. Although there is a widespread belief in society that there is no cure for epilepsy, seizures can be controlled and children can continue their daily lives without any problems, thanks to the development of medical procedures. Until it is too late for treatment.
Children with epilepsy must be monitored by a specialist pediatric neurologist. Oral convulsions should be used as a first option. Patients who have seizures despite taking medication should be evaluated by a pediatric epilepsy surgery team to determine if they are suitable for surgery.
Beware of these symptoms!
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Symptoms of epilepsy in children can vary depending on the type and severity of the epilepsy. If you have any of the symptoms listed below, it is important to consult a pediatric neurologist without delay in the initial diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy.
– Sudden onset of fear, feeling of non-existent bad smell
– See different colors and lights
– Compression of face, arms and legs
– Mouth watering
– Sudden contraction and relaxation of muscles
– Eyes froze on one side
– Head drop
– Urinary and stool incontinence
– Loss of consciousness
– Fatigue and prolonged sleep after convulsions
Is diagnosed by EEG
Electroencephalography, in other words, is the diagnosis of epilepsy by observing the electrical activity of the brain with the help of EEG. This procedure is performed with an electrode attached to the baby’s scalp. A 30-minute routine EEG may be sufficient for initial assessment. However, in cases where the origin of epilepsy has not been ascertained, it may be necessary to resort to video EEG for at least 48 hours and sometimes longer.
Convulsions can be controlled with medication
Oral anti-convulsant drugs are the first treatment alternative to epilepsy. These drugs reduce or stop seizures in 75 percent of patients, but are not helpful in the remaining 25 percent of patients. We call these children ‘drug-resistant seizure patients’. In such cases, a special method, ketogenic diet can be applied. However, it is a diet that requires a lot of effort and caution.
If drug therapy fails to help …
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Children who cannot be treated with anti-epileptic drugs or who do not have seizures despite seizures and a ketogenic diet should be evaluated for suitability for epilepsy surgery. Because there is no more opportunity to treat these children. However, not every child can be a candidate for surgery. Whether the child will benefit from the surgical procedure is determined by a detailed examination.
The source of the convulsions is under the spotlight
During the evaluation of suitability for surgery, 3 Tesla thin section epilepsy protocol needs to benefit from the MR method, which has highly advanced features. The purpose of applying this method is to find out where the seizures originate from. Also, through long-term video-EEG, it should be determined whether the abnormal brain waves actually originated from the problem area seen on MRI. If the region of the brain responsible for epilepsy as a result of MRI and EEG cannot be predicted, methods called SPECT with PET, which determine the epileptic region according to the metabolism of brain cells, may be used.
The surgical procedure is important
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Pediatric epilepsy surgery is a team work. The team includes pediatric neurologists, pediatric neurosurgeons, pediatric radiologists, nuclear medicine specialists, EEG technicians, child psychologists and epilepsy group nurses who coordinate patients and teams.
Three types of surgery are used in epilepsy. These are the removal of the focus responsible for traumatic epilepsy, i.e., lysinectomy surgery, disconnection surgery in which the target area is affected by disconnecting the affected area from other areas which cannot be removed without damage. Patients, and epilepsy surgery where almost or all of the brain is responsible for epilepsy. Functional surgery where the treatment is applied has a success rate of 85% in lysinectomy surgery, 60% in disconnection surgery and 50% in neurosurgery.