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How to manage absence seizures in children?

Answered by: R. K. Sabharwal
Senior Consultant
SGRH
New Delhi

Q. My daughter, aged 14 yr, was suffering from slight blankness at intervals and we took her to a neurosurgeon in Chennai. Its almost two years since she has been on Valprino 30 (morning and evening). Some times while busy at studies she forgets to have it and this results in blankness again for a few seconds. Its very frightning! How long does she have to be careful in taking this and is there any permanent cure for the disease?

A.  Your child is likely suffering from episodes of absence seizures. The 2 conditions that cause these blank spells are Absence Seizures (formerly called Petit Mal) and Temporal lobe seizures. The EEG is very helpful in differentiating the two. The former has a good outcome. It is mandatory that your child does not miss her medications - it would be better that you administer the medicines at the appropriate time rather than she take it herself. A number of children tend to forget taking the medicines and it prolongs the treatment. Epilepsy is managed by neurologists and not neurosurgeons and your neurologist would help by adjusting the dose, watching for side- effects and will withdraw the medicines gradually if your child is fit free for 2-3 years.

A.  Your child is likely suffering from episodes of absence seizures. The 2 conditions that cause these blank spells are Absence Seizures (formerly called Petit Mal) and Temporal lobe seizures. The EEG is very helpful in differentiating the two. The former has a good outcome. It is mandatory that your child does not miss her medications - it would be better that you administer the medicines at the appropriate time rather than she take it herself. A number of children tend to forget taking the medicines and it prolongs the treatment. Epilepsy is managed by neurologists and not neurosurgeons and your neurologist would help by adjusting the dose, watching for side- effects and will withdraw the medicines gradually if your child is fit free for 2-3 years.

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