Many children who have epilepsy or seizure disorders require medication for several months to years, and some need it for life. Our doctors closely monitor your child’s response to medication to minimize side effects and reduce seizures.
Your child may have follow-up visits with their neurologist several times over the course of three to six months or longer. Children who need to take medication for the rest of their lives have long-term follow-up visits.
Children with epilepsy may also experience depression or anxiety. Our team can offer referrals or medication to help your child manage these conditions.
Pediatric Epilepsy Program
As part of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, the team at the Pediatric Epilepsy Program aims to improve the quality of life of children and teens who have all types of epilepsy and seizure disorders.
In our family-friendly atmosphere, children and teenagers can access services designed to improve their experience of treatment. These include playroom video EEG monitoring, art and music therapy, tutoring, and a library stocked with books, DVDs, and video game consoles.
The Angelman Syndrome Clinic
Specialists at the Angelman Syndrome Clinic offer symptom management and psychosocial support to children who have this rare genetic disorder, which causes seizures and developmental delays.
CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder Center
Doctors at NYU Langone’s CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder Center of Excellence offer neurological, genetic, neurodevelopmental, and specialty services for children with this genetic disorder, which causes seizures and developmental delays.
Center for Epileptic Encephalopathies
Our experts provide care for children with epileptic encephalopathies, which in addition to seizures cause cognitive and behavioral problems. At the Center for Epileptic Encephalopathies, epilepsy specialists, neuropsychologists, nurse practitioners, and dietitians are part of the support team.
The Dravet Center
Experts at the Dravet Center at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center provide care to children with Dravet syndrome and related disorders. Our center offers professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level of medical, dietary, and surgical evaluation and treatment for children with this complex form of epilepsy.
Sturge-Weber Syndrome Center
Our Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is designated as a Center of Excellence by the Sturge-Weber Foundation for the care we provide children who have Sturge-Weber syndrome. Our neurologists, along with specialists in dermatology and ophthalmology, create team-based, personalized treatment plans to help manage symptoms in patients and improve their quality of life.
Tuberous Sclerosis Program
Specialists in our tuberous sclerosis program offer seizure management to children with this rare genetic disorder, which can cause tumors in the brain. Patients also receive support for developmental and cognitive delays.
Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures
Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures, or FACES, is an organization affiliated with the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. The organization funds research to improve epilepsy care, advances new therapies, and fosters a supportive community for children, families, and caregivers living with the challenges of epilepsy.
The mission of FACES is to improve the quality of life of all people affected by epilepsy and seizures. FACES offers a variety of support services for people receiving care at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, including free apartments for those receiving treatment, college and camp scholarships, and a Game Day event for children with epilepsy and their families. FACES also hosts the Parent Network, which connects trained parent mentors with parents of newly diagnosed children, an annual epilepsy conference, and an evening Peace of Mind lecture series.
FACES also oversees a support group for young professionals living with epilepsy and partners with the Epilepsy Foundation for an online teen “chat about.” Additionally, funds raised by the organization benefit a diverse portfolio of research programs.
Registered dietitians are part of the treatment team at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. They provide nutrition therapy in both inpatient and outpatient settings. They also advise children and their families about dietary therapies that may help control seizures.
Children with epilepsy whose seizures are not fully controlled by antiepileptic medications or surgery may want to consider integrative therapies, which include the use of supplements as well as relaxation therapy, biofeedback, and acupuncture.
In acupuncture, practitioners use very thin needles to stimulate specific points on the body, which may enhance blood flow and speed healing. This treatment may help your child have more seizure-free days and lessen the intensity of seizures when they do occur.
Relaxation Therapy and Biofeedback
Relaxation therapy involves a variety of strategies to reduce stress, such as breathing techniques and hypnosis. Biofeedback involves learning to control bodily functions that are not usually voluntary. These techniques can promote relaxation by reducing tension in facial muscles, for instance, and by helping a child to breathe at a slower rate.
Relaxation therapy and biofeedback may improve seizure control in some children by helping them to reduce stress levels and control hyperventilation. However, these techniques rarely reduce the occurrence of seizures.
Herbal therapies are prepared from the flowers, leaves, stems, bark, or roots of plants. Many herbal medicines are believed to have a beneficial effect on seizures, though these effects are not proven. Such herbs include lily of the valley, marijuana, and mistletoe.
Herbal therapies can interact with antiepileptic medications, so it is important to consult your child’s doctor before they take any herbal supplements.
Children with epilepsy may benefit by participating in clinical trials. During a clinical trial, promising new medications, medical devices, or other treatments are evaluated in scientifically controlled settings. These studies are required for regulatory approval, which allows the new therapies to be used by everyone who has epilepsy.
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center maintains an active research program dedicated to investigating new diagnostic methods and medications that could prove helpful in the treatment of epilepsy. You and your child’s doctor can discuss whether a clinical trial is a good option for your child.
Resources for Epilepsy & Seizure Disorders in Children
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