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Can brain malformations lead to seizures?

Q: My son has complex partial epilepsy. He has a condition where the brain sits lower in the skull and sits towards the spinal cord. Can this cause seizures? He is only 8 years old and I was told that there is no medical link between the two. He initially had sleep disorder seizures and now they have progressed to the complex ones. What do we do?

A:Your statement that ‘the brain sits lower in the skull’ does not tell us what the exact problem is. I can only presume that it is Arnold Chiari malformation. Your child has additional disorders of Complex Partial Seizures and ADHD. Children with congenital brain malformations have a higher incidence of epilepsy. This may be related to dysplastic neurons, or collection of abnormal or atypical cells at the location from the seizure process is arising. A high strength MRI may or may not detect the abnormality. If one can demonstrate an area from where the seizure discharges are arising; for example the medial temporal lobe etc, one may contemplate surgical intervention. I think you should try reducing the dose of Concerta, may help in reducing his headaches.


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