Seizures may be the result of a disorder, disease or event that damages the brain or stimulates unusual electrical activity.
Epileptic seizures are associated with a change in the brain’s electrical activity, while nonepileptic seizures are caused by different conditions. Nonepileptic seizures are typically the result of an unresolved psychologic stress.
Medication is the most common treatment for recurrent seizures or epilepsy, with the goal being to prevent or reduce the frequency of seizures with no side effects. If medications aren’t successful, surgery is a possible treatment option. Nonepileptic seizures can be treated by identifying and addressing the underlying cause.
At Barnes-Jewish Hospital, we see hundreds of patients with seizures each year, including a third of the region’s epilepsy patients. Our epileptologists, neurosurgeons and other epilepsy specialists work together to provide advanced seizure treatment. At our Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, we aim to rule out an epilepsy diagnosis and provide the appropriate treatment.
Medication for Seizures
Medication is almost always the first treatment for epileptic seizures, as it controls seizures in 60-70 percent of people with epilepsy. While medication can’t cure epilepsy, it can greatly reduce or even stop the seizures from occurring.
As a partner of Washington University School of Medicine, our neurologists pioneer the use of seizure medication, providing us great experience in selecting the right medication and dosage.
We may recommend that you stay at our epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU), so we can monitor your seizures over the course of a few days and have a better understanding of your seizures and the treatment necessary.
Additional Treatment Options for Epileptic Seizures
There are other treatment options for epileptic seizures, including:
- Electrical stimulation to disrupt abnormal electrical brain activity
- Counseling or neuropsychological therapy, to help you cope with the difficulties of epilepsy
- Diet changes to prevent seizures associated with certain types of epilepsy, especially in children
- Surgery to remove the part of the brain where the electrical activity originates
Barnes-Jewish was one of the first hospitals in the country to regularly use surgery to treat patients with seizure disorders that were unresponsive to medications.
Considering Your Seizure Treatment Options
Your neurologist will talk with you about the potential benefits and side effects of each treatment option. Our team carefully weighs each option before making a recommendation, with controlling your seizures and your safety being our priorities.
To make an appointment with a Washington University neurologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 855.925.0631.