Epilepsy and Seizures
Our team has epilepsy experts who can help diagnose different kinds of seizures. Diagnosing what kind of epilepsy a child has is crucial in determining what kind of treatment is appropriate.
There are various ways of treating epilepsy, from the ketogenic diet, to new drugs, to surgical treatments. Sometimes no medical treatment is necessary.
The ketogenic diet is a special diet used to treat seizures. The diet was initially successful in the 1920's as one of the only treatment options for children with epilepsy. Since then, many effective medicationshave largely replaced the diet. But recently there has been a resurgence of interest in the Ketogenic diet.
The diet consists of meals which are high in fat, but very low in calories, which results in a metabolic condition called ketosis. Ketosis has an anti-epileptic effect which is similar to and sometimes superior to traditional antiepileptic medications, though the precise mechanism of action is not understood.
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital has a ketogenic diet team to help families. This team includes experts in nutrition and epilepsy, including dieticians, physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and pharmacists. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford has admitted over 50 patients for the ketogenic diet since January 1995. The children range in age from less than 11 months to 19 years.
Several new medications for the treatment of epilepsy have become available recently. Our epilepsy specialists are among the first physicians to become familiar with these new treatment options. For some children, investigational new drugs for epilepsy treatment are a possibility. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital has neurologists who work to manage anti-epileptic medications so they provide optimal seizure control while minimizing side effects.
Epilepsy surgery is performed by our pediatric neurosurgeons.
To schedule an appointment, or for further information, please contact the Neurology Clinic.