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NINDS Disorders is an index of neurological conditions provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This valuable tool offers detailed descriptions, facts on treatment and prognosis, and patient organization contact information for over 500 identified neurological disorders.

Neurology Now
This Way In: Making Newer Antiepileptic Drugs Available to Children. 03.01.2013
Ask the Experts: Epilepsy 09.01.2012
Ask the Experts: Epilepsy 09.01.2012
Neurology News: Drugs for epilepsy and for HIV can interact negatively 02.01.2012
Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy: This rare disorder is a call to arms for doctors and patients to control seizures. 11.01.2010
SUDEP Resources and Advocacy Groups 11.01.2010
Speak Up: Keeping the Faith 07.01.2010
Quick Tips: Epilepsy, Menstruation, and Ovulation 03.01.2010
Pictures of You 03.01.2010
Expressions of Courage: Art by People with Epilepsy. 01.01.2010
Dear Seizure Diary. 11.01.2009
Facing Down Stigma. 09.01.2009
Seize the World. 09.01.2009
Seize the World. 09.01.2009
Rolle With It. 09.01.2009
Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures. 01.01.2009
Eating Well for Epilepsy. 01.01.2009
RESOURCE CENTRAL. 01.01.2009
From Hero to Advocate. 11.01.2008
The Seizures No One Wants to Talk About. 11.01.2008
Maximize Your Drug Plan. 11.01.2008
Types of Seizures. 11.01.2008
Driving advice for people with epilepsy, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's, and their families.. 07.01.2008
Transportation Options. 07.01.2008
Women and Epilepsy. 05.01.2008
control. 01.01.2008
Epilepsy. 01.01.2008
Exercising with epilepsy. 11.01.2007
Epilepsy Drugs and IQ. 09.01.2007
Battling the Black Dog. 07.01.2007
Key to the Classroom. 07.01.2007
Your Questions Answered: SEIZURE DRUGS AND PREGNANCY. 07.01.2007
Seizure-Tracking. 05.01.2007
Epileptic. 05.01.2007
The Double Storm. 03.01.2007
Real-Life Hero Saves Man Having Seizure. 01.01.2007
New Drugs Help Reduce Stubborn Seizures. 01.01.2007
Tackling Seizures. 11.01.2006
Your Questions Answered: EPILEPSY. 09.01.2006
The Moral of a Soap. 07.01.2006
Something to SCREAM About: Party of Two: Neve Campbell uses acting fame to speak out for people living with epilepsy - starting with her cousin. 03.01.2006
Tax Breaks That Are Worth the Work. 01.01.2006
AAN Press Releases
Low Carb, High Fat Diets May Reduce Seizures in Tough-to-Treat Epilepsy 10.29.2014
New Apps May Help Detect Seizures, Treat Strokes 02.20.2014
Epilepsy Drug Taken in Pregnancy Found Safe in Preschool Child Development 01.08.2014
AAN Issues Statement on University of Minnesota Coach Jerry Kill 10.10.2013
Exercise May Reduce the Risk of Epilepsy Later in Life for Men 09.04.2013
Actor John O’Hurley Hosts New AAN Epilepsy Video 05.15.2013
University of Wisconsin Researcher Receives $130,000 for Epilepsy Research 03.25.2013
Response to First Drug Treatment May Signal Likelihood of Future Seizures in People with Epilepsy 05.09.2012
Harvard Medical Researcher Awarded $130,000 Epilepsy Research Grant 04.25.2012
AAN Pledges to Improve Quality of Life for Epilepsy Patients in Response to IOM Report 04.03.2012
New Guideline: Caution Needed When Choosing Seizure Drugs for People with HIV/AIDS 01.04.2012
Premature Birth May Increase Risk of Epilepsy Later in Life 10.03.2011
Canada Researcher Awarded $130,000 Epilepsy Research Grant 04.13.2011
New Drug May Reduce Seizures in Epilepsy 04.13.2011
Researchers: Pay More Attention to Epilepsy 12.27.2010
Breastfeeding While Taking Seizure Drugs May Not Harm Child’s IQ 11.24.2010
Is Infertility More Common in Women with Epilepsy? 10.11.2010
Certain Epilepsy Drugs May Increase Risk of Suicide 07.26.2010
Soldiers with Brain Injuries at Higher Risk of Epilepsy Decades Later 07.19.2010
Winners of the Neuro Film Festival Announced 04.11.2010
Vanderbilt Researcher Receives AAN’s Dreifuss-Penry for Epilepsy Research 03.30.2010
Drama or Reality TV: Do Medical Shows Depict Proper First Aid for Seizures? 02.14.2010
Two Neurologists Named AAN Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Advocates of the Year 01.11.2010
Children with Newly Diagnosed Epilepsy at Risk for Cognitive Problems 08.12.2009
Guidelines: Pregnancy Safe with Epilepsy, but Valproate Should Be Avoided 04.27.2009
Epilepsy Drug May Increase Risk of Autism in Children 12.01.2008
Epilepsy Linked to Higher Risk of Drowning 08.18.2008
Epilepsy Drug May Increase Risk of Birth Defects 07.21.2008
Failure to Take Seizure Drugs Linked to Increased Risk of Death 06.18.2008
Epilepsy Drug Causes Bone Loss in Young Women 04.28.2008
Breastfeeding While Taking Seizure Medicine Does Not Appear to Harm Children 04.17.2008
Drug Monitoring Reduces Seizures in Pregnant Women with Epilepsy 11.28.2007
New Guideline for How to Treat a Person’s First Unprovoked Seizure 11.19.2007
New Guideline Recommends When to Use CT Scans in ER for Seizures 10.29.2007
Once-a-Day Epilepsy Drug Is Effective for Partial Seizures 10.15.2007
Experiencing Auras? You May Be a Good Candidate for Epilepsy Surgery 08.20.2007
After Epilepsy Surgery, Quality of Life Related More to Seizures than Memory 06.04.2007
Lower IQ Found in Children of Women Who Took Epilepsy Drug 05.03.2007
Young Children with Epilepsy Seizures Could Benefit from Animal Model of Disease 04.25.2007
Epilepsy Drug with New Method of Action Is Safe, Effective 04.09.2007
Does Tooth-brushing Cause Epilepsy Seizures? 03.05.2007
No More Seizures? New Drug Holds Promise for Epilepsy Patients 02.05.2007
Can Epilepsy Patients Predict Their Seizures? 01.22.2007
Dogs May Be Responding to Psychological Seizures, Not Epilepsy Seizures 01.22.2007
New Guideline for the Diagnostic Assessment of Children with Continuous Seizures 11.13.2006
Epilepsy Drug Poses High Risk for Fetal Death and Birth Defects 08.07.2006
Clues Help Identify Psychological Seizures 06.12.2006
Menstrual Cycles Affect Seizure Frequency for Women with Epilepsy 03.24.2006
Epilepsy Researcher to be Honored with Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award 03.23.2006
Depression and Anxiety Improve After Epilepsy Surgery 12.12.2005
30 Years Later, Epilepsy Surgery Shows Good Results 06.13.2005
New Studies Show Mixed Results on Epilepsy Drugs and Birth Defects 03.21.2005
Epilepsy Drugs Cause Bone Loss 06.07.2004
American Academy of Neurology and American Epilepsy Society Develop Guidelines for Treating Epilepsy 04.26.2004
Long-term Outcome of Epilepsy Surgery Is Favorable for Many 08.25.2003
Epilepsy in Developing Countries Often Left Untreated 05.12.2003
Mandatory Reporting of Seizures Can Have Negative Impact 04.02.2003
Epilepsy Surgery: Careful Candidate Selection Produces Comparable Results in Developed and Developing Countries 04.01.2003
Guideline: A Child's First Unprovoked Seizure Should Not be Treated as Epilepsy 01.27.2003
Positive Response to Epilepsy Medication Does Not Ensure Good Prognosis 01.27.2003
Evidence Does Not Support Psychological Treatments for Epilepsy 04.16.2002
Substitution of Generic Drugs May Cause Problems for Epilepsy Patients 08.27.2001
Study Helps Predict Children with Difficult-to-Treat Epilepsy 06.11.2001
Neurology Today
NEWS FROM THE AMERICAN EPILEPSY SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING: An EpiPen-Like Device with Diazepam Found Effective for Stopping Seizures 01.03.2013
NEWS FROM THE AMERICAN EPILEPSY SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING: Early Reports Show Promise in Laser Surgery for Intractable Focal Epilepsy 01.03.2013
Five Years after DBS, Epilepsy Outcomes Improved 01.03.2013
NEWS FROM THE AMERICAN EPILEPSY SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING: Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy: What Patients Want to Know and What Clinicians Do and Don't Say 01.03.2013
NEWS FROM THE AMERICAN EPILEPSY SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING: Disparities in Epilepsy Care for the Poor Reported in Two New Studies 12.20.2012
NEWS FROM THE AMERICAN NEUROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING: Turn on a Light, Turn off a Seizure? Optogenetics Comes to Epilepsy 11.15.2012
NEWS FROM THE AMERICAN NEUROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING: Turn on a Light, Turn off a Seizure? Optogenetics Comes to Epilepsy 11.15.2012
LEGAL-EASE: Seize and Desist: The Ethics and Legality of Reporting Epileptic Drivers 11.01.2012
Zonisamide Found Non-inferior to Carbamazepine for Newly Diagnosed Epilepsy 09.06.2012
Silencing MicroRNAs Found to Reduce Seizures in Epilepsy Model: 08.02.2012
In the Field: The Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award: Tobias Loddenkemper, MD: On Detecting Diurnal and Nocturnal Patterns for Seizures 06.07.2012
Large Analysis of Epilepsy Outcomes Supports Mixed Prognostic Picture for Patients 05.17.2012
New IOM Epilepsy Report Identifies Major Gaps in Diagnosis, Treatment and Public Awareness 05.03.2012
Earlier Epilepsy Surgery Recommended in Pharmacoresistant Patients, New Study Finds 04.19.2012
In Small Trial, DBS Found to Improve Memory in Patients Prepping for Epilepsy Surgery 04.05.2012
Epilepsy Specialists Reject Government Report on Antiepileptic Drugs 04.05.2012
New AAN Guideline Addresses Potential Interactions Between Drugs for HIV/AIDS and Epilepsy 01.05.2012
News from the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting: Can an Anti-Inflammatory Inhibit Partial-onset Seizures? 01.05.2012
Adjunct AEDS Cut Sudden Death Risk Seven-Fold in Drug-Resistant Epilepsy 11.03.2011
How Do Epilepsy Patients Fare in the Long-term After Surgery? 11.03.2011
Overcoming Stigma: VA Epilepsy Centers of Excellence Reach out to Veterans with Seizures 10.06.2011
Responsive Cortical Stimulation Found Effective for Intractable Partial Epilepsy 09.15.2011
Global Neurology: Bridging the Gaps in Epilepsy Care: Dr. Amza Ali in Jamaica 08.18.2011
News from the AAN Annual Meeting: Complex Picture Emerges from New Knowledge of Ion Channel Genes in Epilepsy 06.16.2011
Childhood Epilepsy: Lower Socioeconomic Status Associated with Poorer Adherence to Therapeutic Regimen 06.02.2011
Danish Study Challenges Data on Risk of Teratogenesis with Newer Epileptic Drugs 06.02.2011
Folic Acid Supplements in Children with Epilepsy Found to Reduce Gingival Overgrowth 04.21.2011
FDA Warns That Topiramate Could Cause Birth Defects: What to Tell Patients 04.07.2011
Split Open From the Inside by Lightning A Review of 02.17.2011
Longitudinal Study Tracks Mortality in Children with Epilepsy 01.20.2011
AAN Develops Quality Measures for Epilepsy 01.20.2011
Researchers Find Racial Disparities in Care for Epilepsy at Hospitals 01.06.2011
Two Different Neurostimulation Techniques for Epilepsy Found to Reduce Seizures 01.06.2011
Sodium Channel Defects Implicated in Sudden Death and Epilepsy 12.16.2010
Two Genes Appear to Be Associated with Epilepsy 12.02.2010
Neurons Moved Through Thought In Another Advance for Brain-Computer Interface 11.18.2010
Two New Studies Call into Question FDA Warning About Antiepileptic Drugs and Suicidality 09.02.2010
Cognitive Decline After Temporal Lobe Resection for Epilepsy Found Not Progressive Up to Ten Years 07.01.2010

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Epilepsy

The epilepsies are a spectrum of brain disorders ranging from severe, life-threatening and disabling, to ones that are much more benign. In epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. The epilepsies have many possible causes and there are several types of seizures. Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of neuron activity—from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development—can lead to seizures. Epilepsy may develop because of an abnormality in brain wiring, an imbalance of nerve signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, changes in important features of brain cells called channels, or some combination of these and other factors. Having a single seizure as the result of a high fever (called febrile seizure) or head injury does not necessarily mean that a person has epilepsy. Only when a person has had two or more seizures is he or she considered to have epilepsy. A measurement of electrical activity in the brain and brain scans such as magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography are common diagnostic tests for epilepsy.

Treatment

Once epilepsy is diagnosed, it is important to begin treatment as soon as possible. For about 70 percent of those diagnosed with epilepsy, seizures can be controlled with modern medicines and surgical techniques. Some drugs are more effective for specific types of seizures. An individual with seizures, particularly those that are not easily controlled, may want to see a neurologist specifically trained to treat epilepsy. In some children, special diets may help to control seizures when medications are either not effective or cause serious side effects. 

Prognosis

While epilepsy cannot be cured, for some people the seizures can be controlled with medication, diet, devices, and/or surgery. Most seizures do not cause brain damage, but ongoing uncontrolled seizures may cause brain damage. It is not uncommon for people with epilepsy, especially children, to develop behavioral and emotional problems in conjunction with seizures. Issues may also arise as a result of the stigma attached to having epilepsy, which can led to embarrassment and frustration or bullying, teasing, or avoidance in school and other social settings. For many people with epilepsy, the risk of seizures restricts their independence (some states refuse drivers licenses to people with epilepsy) and recreational activities.Epilepsy can be a life-threatening condition. Some people with epilepsy are at special risk for abnormally prolonged seizures or sudden unexplained death in epilepsy.

Research

Scientists are studying the underlying causes of the epilepsies in children, adults, and the elderly, as well as seizures that occur following brain trauma, stroke, and brain tumors. Ongoing research is focused on developing new model systems that can be used to more quickly screen potential new treatments for the epilepsies. The identification of genes or other genetic information that may influence or cause the epilepsies may allow doctors to prevent the disorders or to predict which treatments will be most beneficial to individuals with specific types of epilepsy. Scientists also continue to study how neurotransmitters interact with brain cells to control nerve firing and how non-neuronal cells in the brain contribute to seizures. Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a flexible brain implant that could one day be used to treat seizures. Scientists are continually improving MRI and other brain scans that may assist in diagnosing the epilepsies and identify the source, or focus, of the seizures in the brain. Other areas of study include prevention of seizures and the role of inflammation in epilepsy.  Patients may enter trials of experimental drugs and surgical interventions.More about epilepsy research

View a list of studies currently seeking patients.

View more studies on this condition.

Read additional information from Medline Plus.

Organizations

Family Caregiver Alliance/ National Center on Caregiving

Supports and assists families and caregivers of adults with debilitating health conditions. Offers programs and consultation on caregiving issues at local, state, and national levels. Offers free publications and support online, including a national directory of publicly funded caregiver support programs.

785 Market St.
Suite 750
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: 415-434-3388 800-445-8106
Fax: 415-434-3508

National Family Caregivers Association

Grassroots organization dedicated to supporting and improving the lives of America's family caregivers. Created to educate, support, empower, and advocate for the millions of Americans who care for their ill, aged, or disabled loved ones.

10400 Connecticut Avenue
Suite 500
Kensington, MD 20895-3944
Tel: 800-896-3650
Fax: 301-942-2302

Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)

Non-profit grassroots organization formed by parents and families to raise funds for epilepsy research.

223 W. Erie
Suite 2 SW
Chicago, IL 60654
Tel: 312-255-1801 800-765-7118
Fax: 312-255-1809

Epilepsy Foundation

National charitable organization dedicated to the welfare of people with epilepsy. Works to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; to improve how people with epilepsy are perceived, accepted and valued in society; and to promote research for a cure. Offers a Legal Defense Program through a fund.

8301 Professional Place
Landover, MD 20785-7223
Tel: 301-459-3700 800-EFA-1000 (332-1000)
Fax: 301-577-2684

National Council on Patient Information and Education

Coalition of nearly 150 organizations committed to safer, more effective medicine use through better communication. Additional website is www.bemedwise.org.

200-A Monroe Street
Suite 201
Rockville, MD 20850
Tel: 301-340-3940
Fax: 301-340-3944

Charlie Foundation to Help Cure Pediatric Epilepsy

Raises money for scientific research, education and public awareness of diet therapies for epilepsy. Offers education, programs, and materials for caregivers, dietitians, physicians and hospitals.

515 Ocean Avenue
Suite 602N
Santa Monica, CA 90402
Tel: 310-393-2347
Fax: 310-453-4585

Epilepsy Therapy Project

Nonprofit corporation that works to advance new treatments for people living with epilepsy. Supports innovative research in academia and industry. Provides information through the www.epilepsy.com website.

P.O. Box 742
10. N. Pendleton Street
Middleburg, VA 20118
Tel: 540-687-8077
Fax: 540-687-8066

Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry

Registry designed to determine what therapies are associated with increased risk of harmful fetal effects. Participation is confidential.

Massachusetts General Hospital
121 Innerbelt Road Room 220
Somerville, MA 02143
Tel: 888-AED-AED4 (233-2334)
Fax: 617-724-8307

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

Federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. Committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.

55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: 203-744-0100 Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291

LGS Foundation

LGS Foundation is a not-for- profit organization dedicated to providing information about Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a rare and severe form of childhood onset epilepsy, while raising funds for research, programs, and services for individuals living with LGS, and their families.

192 Lexington Avenue
Ste 216
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-802-1401

International RadioSurgery Association

Proactive patient organization providing information and referrals on Gamma Knife, Linac, and particle beam radiosurgery for brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and neurological pain and movement disorders.

2960 Green Street
P.O. Box 5186
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Tel: 717-260-9808
Fax: 717-260-9809

Dravet.org

Utilizing our global network of resources, we strive to empower patients and their families by providing: advocacy & awareness; education & information; patient & family support; and increased medical research. Our goal is to improve the treatment of Dravet syndrome and other related genetic, febrile sodium channel epilepsies.

P.O. Box 66599
Baltimore, MD 21239-6599
Tel: 866-828-1843

Intractable Childhood Epilepsy Alliance

The Intractable Childhood Epilepsy Alliance is a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to improving lives of children affected by intractable epilepsy through evidence-based information, advocacy for appropriate medical treatment including compassionate use and Orphan drug products, promotion of drug development, data collection through patient registries, and funding of research that will lead to a cure for intractable childhood epilepsies.

PO Box 365
6360 Shallowford Road
Lewisville, NC 27023
Tel: 336-946-1570
Fax: 336-946-1571

Hope for Hypothalamic Hamartomas (Hope for HH)

Provides information and support to hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers and promotes research toward early detection, improved treatments, living with HH, and a cure.

P. O. Box 721
Waddell, AZ 85355

RE Children's Project

National organization devoted to increase awareness regarding Rasmussen's encephalitis (RE) for the primary purpose of supporting scientific research directed towards a cure.

79 Christie Hill Road
Darien, CT 06820
Tel: 917-971-2977

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