Epilepsy is a condition whereby a person has recurrent epileptic seizures. Seizures occur in up to 90% of people with Sturge-Weber syndrome. Seizures originate in the brain and may result in the sudden change in a persons level of conciousness, behaviour, motor activity and sensation.
Seizures are classified in several ways. The type of seizure a person has depends on where in the brain the seizure originates.
Antiepileptic medicines are also known as anticonvulsants. Such medication does not cure epilepsy, but is used to control seizures. Seizures may need to be controlled in this way. Several may need to be tried before the most effective one or combination is found.
A doctor/specialist will identify the type of epilepsy a person has and the most suitable anticonvulsant medication to help control the seizures. If seizures cannot be controlled by medication, in a few cases surgery to the affected part of the brain can be of value.
Support and information can be of immense value to sufferers and their families. The main Epilepsy Associations in Great Britain and Ireland are:
- Epilepsy Action (British Epilepsy Association), Leeds. Freephone Helpline 0808 800 50 50.
- The National Society for Epilepsy, Chalfont St Peter. Tel: 01494 601300. This organisation also runs the National Epilepsy Helpline on 01494 601400.
- Young Epilepsy, St Piers Lane, Lingfield, Surrey. Tel: 01342 832243. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Epilepsy Scotland, Glasgow. Tel: 0141 427 4911.
- Brainwave (Irish Epilepsy Association), Dublin. Tel: 00 35314 557500.
- Mersey Region Epilepsy Association. Liverpool. Tel: 0151 298 2666.
written by Jill Sheldrake