Can epilepsy be cured

Can Epilepsy Be Cured?

If you or anyone in your family is recently diagnosed with epilepsy, many questions will arise in your head. One of the first, maybe, is “can epilepsy be cured?”. However, there is no single answer to this question. Instead, doctors determine the treatment based on the type of seizure and what region in the brain is it happening. 

Epilepsy is treated with different medications, also known as antiepileptic drugs. But these drugs mainly help to control the symptoms of epilepsy and do not cure it. Keep reading more about epilepsy and its cure!

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that leads to recurrent and unprovoked seizures. A seizure is nothing else but a sudden rush of abnormal electrical activity in your brain. The diagnosis of epilepsy is confirmed when you have two or more unexplained episodes of seizures. 

According to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) survey, epilepsy affects about 50 million people worldwide.

It develops more commonly among young children and older adults, and it is seen mainly in men more than women, possibly due to high exposure to risk factors such as alcohol abuse and head trauma.

There are two main types of seizures:

  1. Generalized seizures, where the whole brain is affected.
  2. Focal seizures, where only a part of the brain is affected.
Seizures vary in intensity as well. The milder ones are difficult to recognize and last only for seconds. The stronger ones may cause uncontrollable muscle cramps and spasms.

How is epilepsy detected?

Your doctor will recommend some tests to confirm epilepsy based on your medical history and symptoms.

Here are some tests for detecting epilepsy:

  • Blood test (to look for infections glucose levels and check normal body functioning)
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Single-photon emission computerized tomography

Treatment for epilepsy

Medications

Today about 80% of people with epilepsy have their seizures controlled with medication. There are more drugs available today to control seizures than ever before. More than 20 different medications are now available on the market to treat epilepsy.

 These are also the first line of treatment for epilepsy and are known as antiepileptic agents. Some of the common epilepsy medications include:

  • Levetiracetam (Keppra)
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Topiramate (Topamax)
  • Valproic acid (Depakote)
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)

These medications are available in tablet, liquid, or injectable forms and are taken once or twice a day based on your doctor’s recommendations.

It may happen that medications may not work in your case. This is where your doctor may consider other treatment options that can be given in combination with drugs.

Vagus nerve stimulator (VNS). It is a device that acts as a pacemaker. It is surgically inserted under the skin on your chest and electrically stimulates the brain’s nerves that run through your neck to prevent seizures.

Ketogenic diet

According to recent research, more than half of children who do not respond to medications benefit from the ketogenic diet. It is high fat and low-carbohydrate diet. Not all fats are dangerous to the body. 

Some fats contain ketones that provide improved seizure control. These include cheese, butter, heavy cream, meat, fish, and eggs.

 It is recommended that these items must be carefully weighed and measured before incorporating them into your daily diet. It will be ideal for working out this diet with both your doctor and a dietician.

Watch this video to know more about the effect of the ketogenic diet on epilepsy.

Brain surgery: 

Surgery is another option if medications don’t work. There are mainly two types of surgery for epilepsy:

1) Resection involves removing that part of your brain where the seizures usually begin. Sometimes, you may be kept awake during this surgery so doctors can talk with you and avoid removing any part of the brain that controls vital functions, like hearing, speech, vision, or movement.

2) Multiple subpial transactions is a procedure where the surgeons make cuts in the brain to interrupt the nerve pathway to keep seizures from spreading to other areas of the brain.

It will be best to discuss every surgical procedure’s pros and cons with your surgeon and other healthcare professionals. You may also seek a second opinion before making a final call.

Conclusion

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that affects many parts of your life. However, controlling and managing it has become easier in recent times. Early treatment can help reduce the frequency of seizures and their serious complications.

 Meanwhile, surgery is considered curative in most cases. Much research is going on for treatment and potential cures for epilepsy. Proper treatment can cause a dramatic improvement in your condition and quality of life.

To learn more about the cure for epilepsy, get in touch with our team of experts now!

About Author

Dr. Eshan Nerkar

Neurologist And Neurosuegeon

Dr. Eshan Nerkar, Consultant Brain & Spine Surgeon in Nashik specializes in Spine Surgery. He practices at AXON Brain & Spine Clinic. He is one of the best neurosurgeons in Nashik with more than 10 years of experience. He has performed more than 1000 surgeries related to brain and spinal surgery procedures.

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