New treatment for childhood epilepsy: How long a child needs to take medication for epilepsy is a big question: The child can take epilepsy medicines as long as their paediatric neurologist recommends them taking medication. The doctor may recommend stopping the medication if the child does not have any seizures for a few months. The doctor’s advice is different for every child. However, doctors also recommend parents not stop giving medicines to their children without talking to their neurologists. Let us try to understand more about a seizure or anti-epileptic drugs and the other advancements in the treatment of epilepsy.
Pediatric antiepileptic drugs: Paediatric neurologists prescribe an array of drugs – some new and a few other which are proven. New anti-epilepsy drugs are in the process of development and ongoing research is also going on. Though there are many options available as far as seizure-prevention drugs are concerned, the one that best works for a child often takes a while to find depending on childhood epilepsy types.
Anti-epileptic Drugs – How do They Work?
They don’t do any changes to the underlying capacity of the brain to reduce its susceptibility to seizures. Rather anti-epileptic drugs work by treating the symptoms and by lowering the frequency of seizures. Furthermore, these drugs should reach potential levels in the body to work efficiently and that level should be maintained for maximum efficiency. To ensure this, parents should follow the instructions of their paediatric neurologist.
Risks for other medical issues
Epilepsy can make a child more susceptible to learning disabilities or mood disorders. stomach ulcers, headaches, and other physical ailments are common. It is important for parents to be aware of possible “illnesses” and to discuss this issue with their paediatric neurologist.
Beyond Medication – What is the Scope
Epilepsy in child treatment New: Exceptional and highly potential medicines, new advancements in the development of robust medicines for the treatment of epilepsy – still, in around one-third of paediatric epilepsy cases, the condition remains medically refractory – Why? antiepileptic drugs are being considered as the mainstay of treatment. Considering the global burden and emerging cases, experts are working hard to explore alternative treatment options to reduce the number of episodes of epilepsy and improve the quality of life of children.
New treatment for childhood epilepsy: The following is an overview of some of these advances — from new surgical approaches and devices to websites and apps.
Vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) therapy
This therapy approved by the FDA can be given to children as young as 4 years of age with drug-resistant partial-onset epilepsy. The therapy has been available for decades. Implementation of new technology in the vagus nerve stimulator therapy allows for a closed-loop system. With the help of this system, which is quite efficient and responsive – it is possible to detect and respond to presumed signs of seizures – such as increased heart rate. It is also possible to do some pre-planned changes in the VNS setting and programming the device accordingly to ensure a reduction in the need for doctor visits.
Brain Responsive Neuro-Stimulation Therapy
This therapy has also been approved by FDA. It is a responsive neurostimulation therapy. It is useful for children with stubborn (drug-resistant) focal seizures (focal onset seizures). The characteristic feature of this type of seizure is two epileptogenic foci. The system has been designed to prevent seizures at the source. Brain responsive neurostimulation system is a closed-loop system. The system is based on a neurostimulator and electrodes. Neurostimulator is implanted in the patient’s skull and the electrodes in the potential seizure onset zone. The neurotransmitter is stimulated by seizure (ictal) activity in the brain. Wireless technology is used to program the device. Neurologists can remotely view and access patient’s electrographic data on a secure website and can also program the device setting as and when necessary.
Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy
This is an approved therapy for adults. It has been recently approved for children with refractory epilepsy. In this procedure, electrodes are placed in different locations within the thalamus and brain structures. Deep brain stimulation is an excellent therapy for adults with psychiatric and movement disorders. This technique has been shown its effectiveness in cases that are not feasible for surgery and also in refractory epilepsy cases. It is also effective against multifocal epilepsy that lacks apparent onset of seizures.
Another new treatment for childhood epilepsy is a new device approved for patients 6 years and older with frequent tonic-clonic seizures is the portable seizure detector. In addition to detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures, it can be programmed to alert carers when a seizure has occurred. Smartwatches with intrusion detection apps are the other wearable devices that have not been approved by the FDA.
Apps and websites
There is an increase in the number of electronic gadgets, Smartphones, devices, Apps, and websites. Their goal is to monitor the episodes of epilepsy, their severity, symptoms, frequency, medication reminders, compliance, and support patients and their caregivers.
Extensive care and treatment follow-ups are very important for the management of seizures in children. Electronic diaries prove indispensable in this regard as they help in tracking seizures and their effects. They also help in correlating headaches with seizures, sleep, diet menstrual cycles, and daily work schedules. Mobile Apps help in managing follow-up schedules with the doctors – such as appointment dates, prescriptions renewals, reminders for medications, etc. All these measures are important for the effective treatment of epilepsy.
The App also provides an application that displays medical information on the phone’s lock screen, allows regular check-ups for single people, and sends emergency notifications to specific recipients when a patient gets a seizure or experiences Aura. One can improve their security with this App. The App also provides standard first aid measures when an attack occurs and a person in the vicinity encounters the person having a seizure.
Increasingly, these applications can generate reports and download them to researchers and healthcare providers. A patient’s electronic medical record contains some of these apps and reports.
All these smart applications and devices are just the beginning of the journey that encompasses robust and cutting-edge methods that help experts and caretakers in improving the care for those with epilepsy. The latest innovations and advancements go on incessantly almost every other day. Smart innovators are working hard to improve the cosmetic impact and durability of these devices including the improvement in capacity, extended battery life, scalability, and the aesthetic aspects of the designs.
Minimizing the size and extending the capacity of the new generation devices is underway along with the trails for non-invasive modulatory devices. To know more about the latest innovations and new treatment for childhood epilepsy, meet me personally.