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How is Epilepsy Treated?

There is currently no cure for Epilepsy. There are several treatments that are currently used to try and prevent the occurrence of seizures. Treatments and interventions used will be dependent on the type and severity of symptoms associated with an individual's Epilepsy.

The treatment methods commonly used include:

Medication
Anti-epileptic drugs are used to prevent seizures from occurring. Research reports that they can control seizures in approximately 8/10 Epileptic people. There are several anti-epileptic drugs, however, no single combination of seizure medicines are best for everyone with Epilepsy, and it may take time to find the best medication to control the seizures.

Self-help
It is often possible for people to identify things that can trigger a seizure. Common triggers include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Not taking a dose of anti-epileptic drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Flashing lights
  • Illegal drugs
  • Stress
  • Menstrual cycle
  • High temperature

Keeping a diary of seizure activity can also be beneficial for people with Epilepsy, so that any triggers can be identified.

Surgery
Surgery is an alternative treatment method for those whose seizures cannot be controlled with medication. Vagus nerve stimulation involves an operation to implant an electrical device in to the chest wall, which stimulates the vagus nerve (a nerve in the neck). This is designed to prevent seizures from occurring by sending mild, regular pulses of electrical impulses to the brain via the vagus nerve. It is suggested that at least two single anti-epileptic drugs and a combination of two or more drugs should be tried pr