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When, in children, seizures don’t pass or when there is (a chance) of a learning deficit or developmental retardation, referral to an epilepsy center can be useful. The center has special research programs for young children, adolescents and children with a developmental stagnation.
As epilepsy may bring huge changes for both children and parents, doctors and epilepsy nurses pay much attention to informing everyone involved. How do you deal with seizures? With the use of medication? What can or can’t a child do (by itself)? All of these questions require a good explanation.
In elders with epilepsy seizures aren’t always easy to recognize as such. It is often thought that someone is confused and that this is cause by his or her age. As older people often suffer from multiple disorders, is may be tricky to recognize an epileptic seizure.
Older people with epilepsy are, like other patients with epilepsy, often treated with anti-epileptics. In this group it is essential to pay attention to the side effects of the drugs, as their liver and kidneys often function less optimal. Various drugs may influence one another. In a specialized center such as Kempenhaeghe, there is extra know-how about epilepsy in the elderly.
A mental disability is often caused by a defect or disorder in the brains. These increase the chance of epilepsy. The more serious the intellectual disability, the greater the chance of epilepsy. Focal seizures with decreased perception and tonic-clonic seizures occur most frequently in people with an intellectual disability. In the case of focal seizures with decreased perception it does not always appear clear that they are caused by epilepsy. The symptoms sometimes resemble the normal behavior of these people. The seizures are particularly hard to recognize in people with a severe intellectual disability.
Seizures in people with an intellectual disability are often hard to control. In many cases they already use other drugs and, in addition, multiple anti-epileptics are also required. Because of their mental disability it can be difficult to discover the side effects. In a specialized center such as Kempenhaeghe there is valuable extra know-how of the combination of mental disabilities and epilepsy.
Epilepsie Vereniging Nederland was set up for people with epilepsy or parents from children with epilepsy. Here, you will find information in Dutch about epilepsy and how to contact (parents of) people in similar situations.