Describe one type of seizure common in childhood or adolescence, focusing on possible causes, how the seizure manifests, and possible treatments. How could uncontrolled seizures negatively affect development? What are the risks and benefits of the various treatments for the seizure you selected? When responding to your peers, think about any reservations you would have if your child were presented with the various treatment options for a seizure disorder.
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One seizure disorder that occurs in childhood is epilepsy. Epilepsy is a general seizure disorder that has many sub components to it. Epilepsy is made up of about 40 different types of seizures that last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and has multiple different causes (Soloman & McHale 2013). Soloman and McHale (2013) report that actually 60% of epilepsy cases have unknown causes. The causes of epilepsy are broken up into three main categories which are idiopathic, or genetic, symptomatic, or as a result of another condition, and cryptogenic, or unknown. The specific causes could include brain damage from injury, deprivation of oxygen at birth, infection, malformation of brain, brain tumors, low blood glucose or calcium, or drugs (Soloman & McHale 2013). Some of the more common types of seizures that an individual with epilepsy may have are tonic-clonic (which are characterized by muscle stiffness and jerking motions), tonic (muscle stiffening, no jerking), atonic (muscle tone lost), myoclonic (muscle jerk, shortly after going to bed/waking up), absence (occurs many times throughout the day, mistaken for not paying attention), and focal (comes from one part of the brain) (Soloman & McHale 2013). Possible treatments for seizure disorders may include the use of one or multiple anti-epileptic drugs. These do not cure epilepsy or seizures, but are intended to prevent seizures and reduce the number of seizures an individual has. Anti-epileptic drugs can have unpleasant side effects like any medication. Certain drugs tend to work better with certain types of seizures although there is no surefire way to determine which medication will work best for a particular individual. Thus, it is often the case that multiple drugs are tried until one is successful or it ends up that a combination of anti-epileptic drugs are used on any given patient. Another less common treatment that Soloman and McHale (2013) mention is the keto diet. We’ve all heard of this diet for loosing weight, especially since it is actually pretty trendy at the moment. Apparently in some cases the keto diet has shown proven effects in reducing seizure activity in individuals. The exact method of success is unknown at this time, but the ketogenic bodies that are produced through the diet fuel the brain and are said to be the cause of seizure reduction. There is still research being done to determine if seizures themselves have a negative affect on development and/or the brain itself. Currently research points to the damage of the brain coming from head injuries that occur during a seizure such as when an individual is standing at the onset of a seizure and falls to the ground, hitting their head or when they bang their head repeatedly on the floor during a seizure. If witnesses are present during a seizure they are advised to either place something soft beneath the individuals head or hold their head in their hands for the duration of the seizure in order to prevent further brain damage.
Soloman, N. & McHale, K. (2012). An overview of epilepsy in children and young people. Learning Disability Practice, 15(6): 30-38.
Describe one type of seizure common in childhood or adolescence, focusing on possible causes, how the seizure manifests, and possible treatments.
A seizure is a period of sudden excessive activity of cerebral neurons that sometimes cause convulsions (Carlson & Birkett, 2017). One type of seizure that is common in children is known as absence seizures. During this seizure, the child will stop what they are doing in the middle and zone off and begin staring off into space. They may blink their eyes at a face pace. Seizures can be caused by scarring which can be the result of injuries, strokes, a growing tumor and abnormal development (Carlson & Birkett, 2017). Possible treatment options for a seizure are medication that are anticonvulsant drugs and brain surgery.
How could uncontrolled seizures negatively affect development?
After a seizure has occurred, especially the first one, it is important for the child to be seen by a doctor. A series of brain test are completed checking on things such as vision, muscle strength, reflexes and cognitive development (Kutscher, 2006). When these tests are done it is to make sure the child is not faced with as many developmental problems. The vision test is completed to ensure the pupils are functioning correctly. The areas of the brain that control the frontal lobe are also checked to see the strength. The continuous development of the body parts can be affected after the seizure and one might not develop as those of their peers.
What are the risks and benefits of the various treatments for the seizure you selected?
Benefits of treatment can slow down and reduce the number of seizures one can have. One risk of the different treatment options is a change in the child’s behavior of intellect. The medication aspect can cause moodiness and irritability in some children. It is important for the parent to make an appointment with their child’s doctor once this has been noticed. Of course, whenever surgery is involved there is always a risk of something going wrong during the procedure. This is with any surgery. One must do their research whether it be medication or surgery to see what the best possible outcome would be.
Carlson, N.R. & Birkett, M.A. (2017). Physiology of Behavior (12th ed). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Kutscher, M. L. (2006). Children with Seizures: A Guide for parents, teachers, and other professionals. Jessica Kingsley Publishers