Epilepsy

Updated 23 February 2016

Preventing epilepsy

If treatment of the primary causes of epilepsy can prevent seizures from occurring, anti-epileptic medication may become unnecessary.

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If seizures occur as the result of an underlying disease of the brain (e.g. a tumour) or the body (e.g. kidney failure), treatment of these primary conditions can prevent seizures from occurring, and anti-epileptic medication may become unnecessary. In other circumstances, drug treatment or surgery for epilepsy can prevent seizures from recurring.

Occasionally, drug therapy is prescribed prophylactically – as is the case after brain surgery, where a short course of anti-epileptic medication is often prescribed routinely to all patients, even those with no history of seizures.

In established epilepsy, avoiding changes in routine, disturbed sleep, drugs and alcohol, and (in a minority of patients) certain situations or activities known to promote seizures, are other practical forms of prevention. 

Read more:

What is epilepsy? 

Causes of epilepsy  

Treatment of epilepsy 

Professor Jonathan Carr, FCP (SA) Neurology, PhD. Head Division of Neurology, Tygerberg Hospital and University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town. February 2015.

 

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