Once upon a time epilepsy was considered a chronic disease. People who had two or more seizures had epilepsy, and it was believed that they were doomed to seizures forever.
Now it is recognized that:
• 70 percent of children whose seizures are controlled for two years can go off medication and remain seizure-free. These children have either outgrown their epilepsy or have been “cured”;
• One in five children who have one tonic-clonic seizure and a normal EEG will have a second seizure, whether or not they are treated;
• Children who are otherwise normal, who have no evidence of prior damage or dysfunction of the brain, are likely to outgrow their epilepsy.
Benign epilepsy of childhood is a new concept, one not universally accepted, but one we are convinced by observation really exists. Our conviction is reinforced by the fact that the threshold for seizures increases as the young child’s brain matures and is more resistant to seizures, and also by the fact that genetic tendencies toward seizures are influenced by age—most children “outgrow” their epilepsy, whether treated or not.
How do you know if your child has benign epilepsy of childhood? After a second seizure neither you nor your doctor can be sure, but, if your child is neurologically and intellectually normal and if the EEG (brain wave test) does not show a lot of abnormalities, then there is good reason to hope. Only time will tell.
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This entry was posted on Friday, April 29th, 2011 at 9:06 am and is filed under Epilepsy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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