Will Epilepsy Always be in My Life?

There are over 170,000 individuals that are annually diagnosed with epilepsy.  Out of this number, imagine the amount of families who ask themselves if epilepsy will always be a constant struggle in their lives.  This isn’t the case for everyone.

Successful treatment for epilepsy has been appropriate medications, antiepileptics, and even surgery.  An encouraging 80% of epileptics, treated with medications, have been known to go without having seizures for at least 2 years – some go without having seizures again.

Every person is different and will progress at their own rate. It has been found that if your cause of epilepsy was something other than brain injury or abnormalities, your chances of becoming seizure-free are best.  I have researched some statistics in regard to epilepsy recovery/progress:

  • Adult medication results
    • 50-60% of adults will be seizure-free after using their first seizure medicine.
    • 11-20% of adults will gain seizure control using their second medication.
    • 20-30% of adults have still suffered with seizures after both medications.
  • Children/teen medication results
    • 20% start on medication and never have another seizure after medication is stopped (this including when they reach adulthood)
    • 50-60% of children become seizure-free with the first medication use
    • 30% never stop taking seizure medications
    • 10% have a difficult time dealing with intractable seizure.

Over 50% of children have been known to outgrow their epilepsy. The longer duration one goes without having a seizure – the larger chance they will remain seizure-free.  (Schachter, M.D, 2006, Will I always Have Epilepsy)

If you are curious if seizure medication is needed to remain seizure-free – that isn’t always the case.  If years have passed and an individual has gone seizure-free, they may want to try getting off the medications. This is something that is always decided upon by the neurologist/doctor and when he/she feels is best for the patient.  When there is driving involved or any activity that could physically danger the patient and/or others around, one must be a lot more cautious when dropping a particular medication.

As I’ve mentioned above, every person is different and every body heals/works at its own rate. As long as you are working with your doctor and keeping the faith, anything is possible. If there’s anything I’ve been taught during my time here at the Epilepsy Foundation New England Donation Center, it’s strength.  Even when the road seems foggy ahead and your struggle is bringing you down, there is always hope -miracles do happen, or at least I think so.  I read an article once about a mother whose child had 150-200 seizures a day, devastating. Now, he is completely seizure free and graduating high school.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office at (888)322-8209 or the Epilepsy Foundation (Dorchester, MA) at (617)506-6041. We have resource guides and helping hands for your support.

Till next time…

Christina Macia

Epilepsy Foundation New England Donation Center

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Published in: on July 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

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