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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases & Conditions Arrow to EpilepsyEpilepsy

Epilepsy symptoms, treatment
The vagus nerve connects to parts
of the brain involved in seizures.

A neurological disorder afflicting some 60 million people worldwide, (with about 2.5 million of those in the U.S. alone) epilepsy is a condition most strikingly associated by seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Seizures vary in degree, but are generally marked by uncontrolled movements, tingling or twitching in the face, fingers, hands, arms, feet or legs.

Depending on their severity, seizures may cause victims to lose consciousness for a short period - followed by general confusion, fatigue and, in more extreme cases nausea, headaches or migraine.

The two main types of epileptic seizures include partial and general, with the former affecting only one part of the brain, while the latter typically resulting in electrical disturbances occurring throughout the brain.

Epilepsy treatment

Although not curable, epilepsy is usually treated with anticonvulsant drugs or a combination of drugs depending on the type and severity of the condition. Like most drugs, anticonvulsants may result in unpleasant side effects or allergic reactions. Moreover, not all epileptics respond to drug therapy although research is ongoing.

In some cases doctors may recommend a high fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic diet that has been proven to be highly effective in decreasing the occurrence of symptoms and seizures.

VNS, or vagus nerve stimulator, is another more recent successful tool in the fight against epilepsy - implanted in patients much like a heart pacemaker - in controlling electrical "storms" inside the brain and significantly reducing seizures.

More about epilepsy around the Web:
- Check out a central clearinghouse for epilepsy news, information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, searchable database of clinical trials, first-person stories and features, online forum, professional advice by doctors, seizure first aid tips, related videos and Webcasts.

Epilepsy Foundation - Find extensive resources featuring legislative and research news, a full description of the disorder, resources for the newly diagnosed, information on symptoms, treatment options, first aid advice, related FAQ.

Epilepsy - Wikipedia entry with information on the condition including symptoms, treatment, alternative therapies, related history & references, patient resources.

Patient Education - Epilepsy - The Cleveland Clinic provides helpful facts and information on diagnosing and treating epilepsy, a guide to first aid for seizures, related webcasts.

Coping with Epilepsy - Join a very busy online forum with peer support and exchange of information on traditional & alternative treatments, common triggers and symptoms, advice for newcomers and caretakers, related resources.


This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.


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