A Guide To Epilepsy

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What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological condition in the United States. Suffers experience chronic, unprovoked seizures caused by abnormal signaling activity in the brain.

What Conditions Are Associated With Epilepsy?

Children and the elderly are at greatest risk of epilepsy. Some childhood forms of the disorder can fade away completely over time. Conversely, older adults may develop epilepsy suddenly.

There are different types of seizures, and a patient with epilepsy may experience several kinds. When a variety of features all occur together, they can be categorized as an epilepsy disorder.

Epilepsy can be categorized based on these and other factors:

  • The types of seizures the sufferer has.
  • The age when the seizures first began.
  • Genetic contributions to the condition.

Researchers recognize about two dozen distinct epilepsy syndromes.

The most common epilepsy syndromes include:

  • Benign Rolandic Epilepsy (BRE)
    The most common epilepsy in children, it’s called “benign” because most patients will outgrow it by puberty. Seizures typically occur between 3-12 years old and happen at night. Headaches and migraines can also occur. There is a strong genetic component.
  • Remote Symptomatic Epilepsy
    Remote symptomatic epilepsy is the most common form of epilepsy in older people. It simply refers to epilepsy that was brought on by physical trauma elsewhere in the body. It is most often associated with stroke. Alzheimer’s disease also increases the risk of epilepsy

The type of seizure known as the grand mal seizure or generalized convulsion has appeared in popular media many times. During a seizure like this, the patient loses motor control and often falls unconscious. However, this is only one of many types of seizures, some less intense.

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Epilepsy Recovery and Lifestyle Changes

There is no cure for epilepsy. After its onset, most patients experience symptoms for life. These symptoms can be intermittent and may not present for weeks or months at a time. However, patients must be alert to potential safety risks at all times. Drugs can control seizures for about 70% of patients. Patients should remain under a doctor’s care and use medication as directed.

One of the most important aspects of long-term symptom management is determining whether any environmental stimuli can provoke a seizure in a particular patient. When stimuli can cause seizures, it is called reflex epilepsy. Bright or flashing lights are among the most common seizure triggers. Sounds and certain activities may provoke seizures, too, and should be avoided.

Recent Epilepsy Medical Research

For more than 40 years, medical research has benefited from frequent epilepsy clinical trials. New epilepsy medications are always under investigation. One of the biggest discoveries from epilepsy clinical trials is the effectiveness of certain medical cannabis treatments for seizure management, especially for pediatric patients with treatment-resistant symptoms. It was this discovery that helped propel public interest in medical cannabis for other purposes.

Why Are Further Epilepsy Clinical Trials Necessary?

With two dozen distinct manifestations of epilepsy to research, progress against the disorder can be slow. Further epilepsy clinical trials can help at-risk populations, including youths and elders. A great deal of information remains to be uncovered about epilepsy, such as the precise genetic factors that can contribute to it and whether or how it can be prevented.

Current Epilepsy Clinical Trials

The following list includes all epilepsy clinical trials verified by ClinicalTrials.gov. To add an epilepsy clinical trial to our list, just contact our team.


About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy. With further epilepsy clinical trials, it will be possible to strive toward better epilepsy medication and, eventually, a true cure for epilepsy.

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