Children’s epilepsy is among the most common chronic diseases

There are indeed a large number of diseases that may affect the most vulnerable of us - children. Epilepsy is unfortunately classified as those that occur very often. Proper treatment is then based primarily from careful differential diagnosis and individual approach, because a children epilepsy has very specific characteristic. We talk about the chronic epilepsy in case that an individual will suffer at least two spontaneous seizures.

Epilepsy is even nowadays, when information and health education is spreading much faster than before, by many people considered as a mental illness. This gives rise to prejudice and unnecessary fear that such a sick child is dangerous not only for himself but also for the others. However, it certainly is not. Epilepsy is caused by a brain activity, often very difficult to identify. Which also indicates that epilepsy as such is not only one disease with a given set of symptoms, it is known to 15 different types of epilepsy. That is why professionals and non-professionals as one consider it as one of the most unpredictable disease ever. What, then, children's epilepsy means and how it is generally treated? These information you will find in this article.

Children's epilepsy is different than in adult´s epilepsy

Though many are unaware, epilepsy in childhood is very different from the forms that can affect an adult. Briefly and generally, it is due the fact that children's brains are still developing (about 6 years age it will be actually fully mature) and many processes, does not come about as far as it will (or should) in later age. Children's epilepsy has, compare to later the ones, which occur in later age, much wider variety of seizure states. Some are directly linked to the child's age. We can find evidences about how common this disease is in statistics. Which indicate that in Europe, it affects approximately 3 million children (one in five children has some type of fit), although this number may be much higher because very often nobody recognize this disease recognize and because the fits may be at first undiagnosed, and for that reason nobody do not ascribe any to it any importance.

Childhood epilepsy - signs

It is impossible to describe accurately all the symptoms that come with epileptic disorder in a childhood. Some occur rarely, other are age-related. Generally, it is possible to summarize it in five basic groups, from which you can make a insight of this disease:

  • Disturbances of consciousness
  • Motoric symptoms (cramps, reduction, or loss of muscular tonus, transient paralysis, etc.).
  • Somatosensory symptoms (olfactory, auditory, or visual disturbances)
  • Vegetative symptoms (changes in pupil reactions, skin discoloration, vomiting, sweating, etc.).
  • Psychological symptoms (associated with consciousness disorders - delusions, hallucinations, etc.).

Presence (i.e. fit states) of children's epilepsy usually comes in smaller intensity and it gradually increases, as well as frequency. It is said that fits during or after puberty disappear, but that is not entirely true. It may happen that epilepsy itself actually disappears, but it is always advisable to start early treatment to reduce the risk that the disease will leave a smaller or larger effects.

Children's epilepsy - treatment

Unconditional basis and prerequisite for successful treatment is the recognition and flawless classifying of the epilepsy type and description of all its manifestations. Just so, you can choose the best strategy that will fully correspond to the interests of preserving the quality of life of the child and his family. Treatment should therefore certainly not be based on furious effort to eliminate the manifestations of the disease, but it should mainly mitigate the problems and coming to terms with the new living habits. A natural part of therapy is indeed pharmacological procedures, involving the use of AEDs and it is no exception to use neurosurgery, which is proceeded to perform the brain surgery.

If the selected medication does not cause the expected curative effect, then it must be replaced by another available treatment. Chances for success with each new drug decreases significantly. When are all possible chemical methods, which our pharmacology can offer unsuccessful, is a child patient considered as a resistant to the treatment and usually must undergo already mentioned brain surgery.

Not just drugs or surgery is the only possibility, which can the patients choose. Children's epilepsy demands on patients modifying their habits and rhythm of their entire life. In this regard, of course, everything will depend on the determination of parents to achieve the required changes. One of the most important points is definitely a regular sleeping regime, alternating with periods of waking. It is necessary to limit the situations during the day when a child could fall asleep and sleep for a while. In some cases, it is also recommended to restrict watching television or playing games on the computer. Needless to say, a child with epilepsy should not be exposed to stress, both physical and psychological. Into a new lifestyle must be involved not only parents, siblings, but also people who regularly come into contact with the patient. This means to inform about the situation a teacher in a kindergarten or school, or even close friends.

What to do and what to avoid during an attack?

If a child has an epileptic fit , it is necessary that people around him will react immediately. Maybe you have experienced this kind of situation, but because you were worried that you can hurt the suffering person, you did not even know what to do. Let's see an essential recommendations on how to behave when your or someone else's child suffer an epilepsy fit..

What to do?

  • The child should be transported into safe place and all objects, which can harm him/her, should be removed from his/her vicinity.
  • It is necessary to loosen the child's clothing, especially around the neck
  • If the child is salivating a lot, you must turn his/her head so the saliva will go out from the mouth

What not to do?

  • Do not try in any way bring the kid round – do not shake with him/her, do not slap the kid, do not pour water.
  • Do not forcibly bend their legs in the cramps into a natural position or do not open their mouths

Children's epilepsy is a very insidious disease, which beginning may herald even tiny details. It can be just short absent-minded staring, from which will emerge in the future one of the first symptoms. Therefore, children's epilepsy requires early intervention of specialists, but also a change of living habits. Often, the trigger of epilepsy is rooted in something that is a normal part of life for parents and their children. Fundamental for the smooth course of treatment is also a health education, not only among parents of young epileptics, but in society as a whole. It is in fact an important step towards the preservation of all happiness, which brings childhood, whether with epilepsy or not.

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