When evaluating a child for staring spells, laboratory tests for metabolic abnormalities or toxic or drug ingestion (especially in older children) may be indicated. If a clear history of the episodic nature of the attacks is obtained, then the EEG can be diagnostic and laboratory tests may not be necessary.
When evaluating a child with a developmental delay, or if the EEG reveals atypical absences, then a full work-up for the underlying cause of a symptomatic generalized epilepsy is indicated. Continue reading →
Here’s a typical story: Frank, a 7-year-old boy, often “blanks out” anywhere from a few seconds to 20 seconds at a time. During a seizure, Frank doesn’t seem to hear his teacher call his name, he usually blinks repetitively, and his eyes may roll up a bit. During shorter seizures, he just stares. Then he continues on as if nothing happened. Some days Frank has more than 50 of these spells. Continue reading →
Epilepsy is a disorder of the nervous system that can affect people of any age, sex, race, social class or nationality. Epilepsy can be caused by injury to the brain, due to trauma – such as a car accident or a head injury, a high fever caused by an infection, or as they get older some people develop epilepsy due to vascular disease, strokes, tumors and Alzheimer’s disease. Nonetheless, for many people, the cause of their epilepsy is never known. Continue reading →