About 70% of people with epilepsy have their seizures controlled with medication.
The goal of epilepsy treatment is to prevent seizures.
Anti-seizure medication is the most common way to treat epilepsy. Different medications control different types of seizures, and a medication that helps one person may not be effective for someone else.
In some cases, epilepsy surgery offers the possibility of a reduction or complete elimination of the seizures. Other non-drug treatments include specialized diets and nerve stimulation. It’s important to remember that everyone responds differently to treatment, so a person with epilepsy should discuss their care with their physician before making any changes to their treatment.
Drug therapy is the most common treatment for epilepsy and is usually tried first. Up to 60 per cent of people with epilepsy can control their seizures using medications. The goal of drug treatment is to obtain the best possible seizure control with the fewest side effects.
The ketogenic diet can benefit some children with difficult to control seizures, or for whom the side effects of medication and/or surgery are considered unacceptable. This is a very special diet and requires the supervision of medical professionals and a dietitian. The diet is very high in fat, low in carbohydrates, has restricted calories and no sugar.
Surgery is considered in up to 15 percent of individuals with epilepsy when treatment with various seizure medications does not result in an individual being seizure free. Surgery is considered only when seizures are frequent and when drugs or other treatment options have failed. Seizure surgery is never undertaken lightly. It is less dangerous than people think. Recovery is often quite rapid.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation involves the implantation of a small device under the skin on the chest under the collar bone. The device acts similar to a pacemaker, sending electrical signals to the brain via the vagus nerve. This periodic mild stimulation helps to control seizures in some patients.