Epilepsy: Is there a cure?

The diagnosis of epilepsy comes with numerous questions like whether it will be cured, or whether there is any specific drug available to treat it. Doctors claim that there are hundreds of different epilepsy syndromes, which involves many different types of seizures. Therefore pinpointing a particular kind of treatment for epilepsy is very difficult.

Epilepsy may be inherited or it may not. Some people also inherit an abnormally active version of a gene that is resistant to drugs. This is the reason why people sometimes have a hard time controlling their seizures with medication. Even if the seizures look different, they all start at the same place. However, they cannot be treated in the same way.  All of them start in the brain. They are caused by a sudden change in the way the brain cells send electrical signals back and forth. A doctor has to have an accurate diagnosis of the exact type of epilepsy a person has in order to treat it properly.

For most people seizures are controlled through medication. However, for some people, there is no proper response to the medication. If the seizures continue despite all the efforts, specialized surgery may be the answer. All surgeries entail some risk but fortunately for epilepsy surgeries, the risks are low. Surgery in epilepsy contributes to a far better way of life.

There are various other treatment options available for epilepsy, they are:

Dietary changes: It refers to a strict meal plan to help children whose seizures are not controlled by medicine. It involves close working with the doctor and a dietician. It starts out with a fast that lasts 24 to 48 hours. The patient is usually admitted to the hospital for this span of time so that they can be observed. After that, they are required to have foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS): A VNS is surgically placed in the chest that delivers short bursts of energy to the brain. It works a lot like a pacemaker. Scientists have found that a VNS reduces seizures by 40% to 50%. However, it does not work this effectively for everyone.

Responsive Neurostimulation Device (RNS): This treatment method consists of a small neurostimulator implanted under the scalp and within the skull. The neurostimulator is connected to one or two wires called electrodes. These electrodes are placed where the seizures are expected to originate within the brain or the surface of the brain. The device detects abnormal electrical activity in the area and delivers electrical stimulation to normalize brain activity before seizure symptoms begin.

Epilepsy makes one feel like they do not have control over their own lives. It is important to work in partnership with the doctor, be updated about any kind of information, like about the seizures or the side effects of the medication and ask questions. There are many ways to get help and maintain a happy, healthy and productive life.

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