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Is my child suffering from epilepsy?

Q: My son is 18 months old and since last one month we have observed that whenever something is done against his will he starts looking up and his shoulder shakes. He holds whatever he has in his hands; sometimes he blinks but looks like he is lost for 3 to 4 seconds. This happens 8-10 times in a day. We have got MRI and ECG done but both look normal. Do you think we should go ahead with the drug epilex prescribed; what are the side effects? We have started homeopathy, is it ok?

A:The description of the abnormal movements suggest that your son has a form of epilepsy called petit mal epilepsy or absence seizures. The diagnosis is usually confirmed by an EEG which will show a typical spike and wave discharge pattern. If you are not happy with the diagnosis and treatment, please consult a pediatric neurologist nearby. Till such time it is prudent to continue with the antiepileptic treatment prescribed. The side effects are few with appropriate doses and include lethargy, dizziness, abnormal eye movements (nystagmus), excessive body hair (hirsutism), prominent gum (gingival hyperplasia), rashes and some times hepatitis with long term therapy. Untreated, the disease is likely to progress and mental subnormality is likely. The disease is unlikely to get cured with age. I am not experienced to comment on homeopathic treatment.

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