Seizures in Children

Seizures are generally described as the sudden and abnormal dysfunction of the brain that results in sudden changes in the behavior as well as movements of various body parts. A seizure occurs when the brain functions abnormally, resulting in a change in movement, attention, or level of awareness. Different types of seizures may occur in different parts of the brain and may be localized (affect only a part of the body) or widespread (affect the whole body). Seizures may occur for many reasons, especially in children. Seizures in newborns may be very different than seizures in toddlers, school-aged children, and adolescents. Seizures, especially in a child who has never had one, can be frightening to the parent or caregiver. Type of Seizures in Children There are different types of seizures that can be categorized by their outer appearance and the reports of the electroencephalogram pattern (EEG). Following are the main types of the seizures in children. Febrile Seizures: A child's contraction to several illnesses like cold, chickenpox, ear infection etc. might result into this type of seizures, which is accompanied by high fever. A child's whose older siblings have had several incidences of febrile seizures may suffer from similar episodic seizures. Neonatal Seizures: This type of seizure occurs within the first month of the child's birth. Most of the times it occurs as soon as the child is born. The neonatal seizures are quite hard to recognize as the newborn doesn't have any convulsions but they show several symptoms like focal misdirection (both eyes set in different directions). Lip smacking and breathless periods may also be observed. Atonic Seizures: The atonic seizures actually make the children go off balance and fall suddenly to the ground with a sudden loss of muscle tone in an unresponsive manner. The atonic seizures are also called as drop attacks.

tremor (sudden shaking of the body). arms and other body parts). Most symptoms of seizures in children may also resemble other medical conditions. During this type of seizure. Causes of Seizures in Children A child having tendency of seizures actually undergoes one to many seizures in the long period of time. Symptoms of Seizures in Children The intensity and the degree of seizures vary according to the type of seizure. Infantile Seizures: This type of seizures are said to be the rarest that occur to the children of 3 months to a year of age. so it is best to consult the doctor and start the treatment of the same.GTC Seizures: The GTC (generalized tonic clonic seizures) are defined in five distinguishing stages. vision along with fatigue and body aches). the infant is most probably at the point of awakening with certain periodic movements of the neck. Following are the causes of seizures in children: y Infections or high fever y Chemical imbalance of the body that causes loss of metabolism y Congenital conditions or trauma y Genetic factors and family history y Brain tumors and neurological problems y Habits of the mother like smoking. They are also called as infantile spasms. Myoclonic Seizures: Myoclonic seizures. rapid eye blinking. alcohol consumption. generally are characterized by quick movement of a large group of muscles in several parts of the body. it is called as epilepsy. problems with speech. There are many types of seizures in children that are distinguished by their causes. legs or the trunk that last for a few seconds or more. that are . . Following are the probable symptoms that indicate that a child is having seizures.contract (contraction of the legs. These seizures occur for several times during a day or also for several days in a row. drugs and certain medications When the child goes through several seizures without any specific reason. loss of consciousness. which are quite dangerous with several long term complications. y Jerking movements of the body y Staring. confused appearance y Breathing problem and incontinence y Falling without any specific reason and unresponsiveness for several minutes y Lips turning blue in color The sudden movements of the body parts are most often followed by disorientation and a long period of deep sleep. straighten out (extended body parts). and the postictal period (sleepiness. clonic period (sudden contractionrelaxation of the body).

overall health and other medical history of the child. Dose-related side effects may include sedation and ataxia. timely blood tests. Pediatric maintenance doses average 4 to 7 mg/kg/day. and stomach upset. Common dose-related side effects include sedation and ataxia and hyperactivity is occasionally evident. Maintenance doses average 10 to 20 mg/kg/day PO. Generalized seizures may be controlled using a variety of medications. Maintenance doses average 20 to 30 mg/kg/day. sedation.Diagnosis of Seizures in Children There are various diagnosis methods of seizures in children that can diagnose the actual type of seizures. Pediatric maintenance doses range from 30 to 60 mg/kg/day PO and no intravenous form is available. following are the several other diagnostic methods of seizures in children: y Blood tests y MRI scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) y CT scan (Computerized Tomography scan) y Lumber Puncture (removal of a small amount of the CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) and performing tests on it. absence) and partial seizure disorders as well as some myoclonic epilepsies. Valproic acid is useful in treating a variety of generalized (tonic-clonic. The obvious goal behind the treatment of seizures is to stop or decease the frequency of seizures in children that too without troubling the normal growth of the children. Risk for idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity and for rash is probably not dose related. These specifications will depend mainly on the age. including barbiturates.aplastic anemia. Dose-related side effects may include sedation. Ethosuximide is used primarily in the treatment of absence (petit mal) epilepsy and occasionally as an adjunctive agent in other generalized seizure disorders. and ataxia. Phenytoin is also effective in the treatment of both generalized and partial seizures and may be administered intravenously as treatment for status epilepticus. Along with outer appearance of the seizure and the EEG. phenytoin. Long-term use may be complicated by gingival hyperplasia. Dose-related side effects may include stomach upset. hirsutism. and hyperammonemia. Fulminant hepatotoxicity is the most feared idiosyncratic complication of therapy. valproic acid. or lymphadenopathy. Idiosyncratic reactions may include rash or blood dyscrasias. It is particularly useful in treatment of mixed seizure disorders. Potential idiosyncratic reactions include leukopenia . as well as make it easy to plan the treatment for it. or Ethosuximide. Phenobarbital may be effective in the treatment of both generalized and simple partial seizures. headache. including status epilepticus. thrombocytopenia. Treatment of Seizures in Children Treatment for seizure in children are recommended as per the condition of that particular child. urine tests and the EEGs to keep a check on the progress of the child as per the medication that is being provided and a ketogenic diet are the three possible curative measures that are observed by the health care providers with the help of the parents of the child. GI upset. Potential idiosyncratic side effects include rash. Intravenous infusion of a loading dose (18 mg/kg) should be performed slowly and cautiously due to risk of hypotension. degree and intensity of seizure will also determine the line of treatment for seizures in children. including phenytoinand valproic acid. which is effective against both partial and secondarily generalized seizures. Medications as per the type of seizure. Common side effects include sedation. rash and Stevens-Johnson syndrome . Pediatric maintenance doses average 3 to 5 mg/kg/day. The type. children under 2 years of age and children receiving multiple anticonvulsants appear to be at greatest risk. or a lupus-like syndrome. hepatotoxicity. Partial seizures often respond to many of the anticonvulsant medications used for generalized seizures. Another first-line agent used in the treatment of partial seizures is carbamazepine.

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