Mayo Clinic evaluates and treats nearly 8, adults and children with epilepsy each year. Its epilepsy care teams use advanced technology. Deep brain stimulation therapy is a surgical treatment which aims to reduce seizures not controlled with medication, and where surgery to treat the cause of. From medication and diet changes to implants and surgery, learn about the various options for epilepsy treatment.
The new device, called the RNS Stimulator , is able to detect these problems in the brain and fire electrical signals through implanted wires to stop a seizure from happening. Implants to treat neurological problems aren't completely new. They're already being used to treat illnesses such as Parkinson's disease and a condition called dystonia.
Neurologists also use another electronic approach called vagal nerve stimulation to treat some forms of epilepsy. The most common problems in clinical tests of the device were infections at the implant site and batteries that ran down too soon. We spoke with Dr. Here are highlights from the interview edited for length and clarity. I think this is substantial. This is the first FDA-approved brain implant for epilepsy. And it's also the first implant of any kind that is responsive to brain activity.
Epilepsy medications are very effective in a large portion of the population who have epilepsy. A person with epilepsy can have more than one kind of seizure. Seizures can also happen because of other medical problems. Some known causes include:. For 2 in 3 people, the cause of epilepsy is unknown.
This type of epilepsy is called cryptogenic or idiopathic. Read more about the causes of epilepsy in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke publication: Hope Through Research External. Learn more about Epilepsy in the United States. Sometimes we can prevent epilepsy. These are some of the most common ways to reduce your risk of developing epilepsy:. Read more about epilepsy prevention. A person who has a seizure for the first time should talk to a health care provider, such as a doctor or nurse practitioner.
The provider will talk to the person about what happened, and look for the cause of the seizure. Many people who have seizures take tests such as brain scans for a closer look at what is going on. These tests do not hurt. There are many things a provider and person with epilepsy can do to stop or lessen seizures. Read more about the treatment options for epilepsy in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke publication: Many kinds of health providers treat people with epilepsy.
Primary care providers such as family physicians, pediatricians, and nurse practitioners are often the first people to see a person with epilepsy who has new seizures. These providers may make the diagnosis of epilepsy or they may talk with a neurologist or epileptologist. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in the brain and nervous system. An epileptologist is a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy.
When problems occur such as seizures or side effects of medicine, the primary health provider may send the patient to a neurologist or epileptologists for specialized care. People who have seizures that are difficult to control or who need advanced care for epilepsy may be referred to an epilepsy centers. Epilepsy centers are staffed by providers who specialize in epilepsy care, such as.
It is important to note that none of these improvements has been confirmed when objective testing by EEG —which records electrical signals from the brain—has been performed. This substantial gap between the various anecdotal reports underscores the desperate need for robust scientific evidence for the potential benefit and risks of marijuana in people with epilepsy. Healthcare professionals do not currently know if marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for epilepsy, nor do we know the long-term effects that marijuana will have on learning, memory and behavior, especially in infants and young children.
However, we do know, based on both clinical data in adolescents and adults, and laboratory data in animals, that there are potential negative effects of marijuana on these critical brain functions. Every case of epilepsy is different and the disease itself is highly variable. Certain treatments that are effective for one type of epilepsy can be ineffective for or even worsen other types of epilepsy.
Scientific studies in people with epilepsy help us to understand how and why various treatments work, and for whom they are effective. Research also helps us understand the correct dose, side effects and potential interactions with other medications. The research needed to determine if marijuana derivatives are safe and effective for the treatment of children or adults with epilepsy cannot occur without funding. At the present time it is difficult, if not impossible, to obtain federal funding to complete research on medical marijuana due to the designation of marijuana as a DEA schedule 1 drug.
It is imperative that these studies be performed by medical researchers who have expertise in pediatric epilepsy and know how to conduct clinical research studies. It's also critical that these investigators have no financial interest in the results of these studies, so that the public can have the utmost confidence that the resulting findings are valid and unbiased.
Physicians and patients and their families need all the necessary information to make the best decisions regarding care. We understand first-hand the medical complexity of epilepsy and the difficult decisions facing people with epilepsy and their families.
Frequently Asked Questions About Epilepsy
In fact, there are more than 20 different medications now on the market to treat epilepsy. Older medications which are still used to treat epilepsy. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are not diagnosable if the patient has epilepsy that produces hallucinations or delusions. This article. The use of cannabis to treat epilepsy and other neurological conditions has been It is also the first ever FDA approved medication to treat seizures in Dravet.