Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosing epilepsy and treating seizures successfully requires a team effort between you, your family and your health care team. It is important to consult with a Neurologist if you have epilepsy or seizures because a Neurologist is trained to care for people with neurological disorders.
For some people it may be easy to diagnose and control seizures and epilepsy. For others diagnosing and treating epilepsy may be difficult. When seizures and epilepsy are difficult to diagnose or when the person is not responding to standard therapy (medication), it is recommended to consult with a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy who is called an Epileptologist.
To find a Neurologist or Epileptologist in Colorado, please contact the Direct Care Manager at the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado at 303-377-9773 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you find a doctor who understands epilepsy and seizures.
Managing Your Epilepsy
Participating in your treatment and being an advocate for yourself can impact your results. We encourage you to do a few simple things to effectively participate and advocate for yourself.
• Take your medicine on time, every day, exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
• See a specialist if your seizures are not controlled.
• Keep a health diary of seizures, test results, medications, and questions for your doctor.
• Track your seizures at SeizureTracker.com.
• Know your seizure triggers – For many people, sleep deprivation or stress can trigger seizure activity.
• Create and share your own seizure action plan – Get your doctor’s input and share this with your employer, school, family and friends.
Medicine is the most common treatment for controlling seizures and is almost always the first therapy. Medicine controls seizures for about 7 out of 10 people living with epilepsy. There are many different anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) and different medicines help with different kinds of epilepsy/seizures. It is important to talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of the different AEDs and to never stop or change your medicine without talking to your doctor, as this could cause complications.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
This type of treatment can improve seizure control, mood and quality of life over time. It is designed to prevent seizures by sending small electrical impulses to the vagus nerve in the neck and then to the brain where seizures begin. These impulses are supplied by a device similar to a pacemaker.
Medical use of cannabis has been legalized in the state of Colorado as in many other states. People living with uncontrolled seizures who have previously attempted other forms of treatment have reported beneficial effects and reduced seizure activity, especially with CBD oil. EFCO is in support of further research on CBD/Medical Marijuana. Early results are promising and anyone contemplating MM/CBD should be cautious in arriving at an informed treatment decision.
Brain surgery can be a way of treating certain kinds of seizures that cannot be controlled with medication or other forms of treatment. Certain testing is necessarybefore the operation and not all patients are good candidates for surgery. There are certain types of surgery.
The Modified Atkins Diet requires carbohydrates to be modified and monitors how food raises blood glucose levels. It is based more on portion control. Each diet ismade to fit each individual and should be done under medical supervision.
Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS)
Responsive neurostimulation or RNS is a device that directly stimulates the brain to help stop or control seizures. The system includes a simulator implanted in the skull that is attached to EEG leads. These leads are implanted in the brain where seizures begin.