The ]]>Epilepsy Foundation]]> points out that in the United States, approximately 300,000 children under age 14 have epilepsy, a disorder that causes multiple seizures. To have epilepsy, people must have two or more seizures, which result from abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The ]]>National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke]]> notes that causes for epilepsy include illness, abnormal brain development and brain damage. Some people may have a ]]>genetic risk for epilepsy]]>, while other people may have no apparent cause, termed idiopathic epilepsy.
The ]]>MayoClinic.com]]> explains that patients with epilepsy can have ]]>different types of seizures]]>. In general, seizures are divided into two groups: partial seizures and generalized seizures. With partial seizures, the abnormal electrical activity occurs on one part of the brain. If a patient has a partial seizure, she can have either a simple partial seizure or a complex partial seizure. Simple partial seizures do not cause patients to have a loss of consciousness, while complex partial seizures cause altered consciousness and patients are unaware that a seizure occurred.
With generalized seizures, the abnormal electrical activity affects the entire brain. The MayoClinic.com points out that four types of generalized seizures exist: absence seizures, atonic seizures, myoclonic seizures and tonic-clonic seizures. During an absence seizures, patients have staring spells. Atonic seizures cause patients to collapse suddenly, while myoclonic seizures cause arm and leg twitching. With tonic-clonic seizures, patients have body stiffening and shaking, as well as a loss of consciousness.
But what is the prognosis for children who have epilepsy?