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Update on Eric’s Seizure

We took Eric to see a neurologist yesterday. After reviewing his history and test results, Eric was diagnosed with “complex partial epilepsy“. There are many different types of seizure disorders (epilepsy). So, the first step is to figure out the type, as the specific treatment depends on the type of seizure. Below is a list of seizure types from

Primary Generalized Seizures (seizures that begin with a widespread electrical discharge that involves both sides of the brain)

* Absence seizures
* Atypical absence seizures
* Myoclonic seizures
* Atonic seizures
* Tonic seizures
* Clonic seizures
* Tonic-clonic seizures

Partial Seizures (seizures that begin with an electrical discharge in one limited area of the brain)

* Simple partial seizures
* Complex partial seizures (Eric)
* Secondarily generalized seizures

As mentioned previously (Seizures and CP), kids with CP are at higher risk of having seizures, also puberty and/or growth spurts can bring on seizures. Eric fits all of these criteria. I was surprised to discover that Eric weight 116 lbs! He has gained 16 lbs in just a few months!

The plan is to start him on Trileptal today and see how he does with that. Trileptal is an anticonvulsant that works by decreasing nerve impulses that cause seizures.

After a busy morning at the hospital, Eric got to go to Disney on Ice at the DCU center in Worcester last night! He is a big Disney fan and especially loves the princesses. Disney on Ice is fun for him. He’s been a few times and knows what to expect. He can make noise without bothering anyone and the music drowns out any crying babies that might bother him.

Mickie & Eric
Mickie & Eric

Eric’s EEG Results

A normal electroencephalogram (EEG) recording
A normal electroencephalogram (EEG) recording

It was not a totally ideal study, because Eric didn’t fall asleep and because he was moving a lot. Nonetheless, there were no abnormalities that looked like they might have caused his seizure. So we will just wait and see if he has another. If he has another seizure he will see a neurologist.

As the doctor told us, everyone is allowed one seizure before starting medications. Could have been a fluke, although unlikely for Eric because of his cerebral palsy. Still we are hoping this was a one-time episode.


Seizures and CP

Eric had his first seizure yesterday at school. As many as half of kids with cerebral palsy (CP) have seizure disorders. I was optimistic and hoping that we would avoid this complication with Eric. So, although it’s not all that surprising, it is disappointing. I got a call from the school around noon-time that Eric had seizure activity that lasted about 3 minutes. He also turned blue and stopped breathing for several seconds; common with a seizure, but still very scary.

He was taken to UMass Worcester via ambulance where they started an IV and did a bunch of lab work. Once in the ER, Eric fell asleep, which is unusual for Eric, but again common after a seizure. The doctor also ordered a CAT scan. We ended up spending 7 hours in the ER, most of that time was just waiting to have the CAT scan. Every time Eric would get to the top of the list, a trauma case would bump him. Finally, his nurse decided to take him upstairs to in-patient radiology for the scan. All things considered, Eric was on his best behavior at the hospital, but I knew there was no way he would stay still for a CAT scan. So, they gave him Versed IV for the scan.

His labs were all normal and the CAT scan showed enlargement of the ventricular system, which is Eric’s base-line, but no other abnormalities. So the plan is to follow-up with Eric’s pediatrician and see a neurologist. He will need to have an EEG (electroencephalogram) and probably start on seizure medication. It is possible that this was an isolated episode, although I’m not getting my hopes up, since seizures are so common for kids with CP. I’ve also read that sometimes puberty can bring on seizures for kids with neurological problems who were seizure-free before puberty. So, one more diagnosis to add to the list…

We finally got out of the ER at 9pm last night. I will keep Eric home from school today and watch him. Here are a couple of camera phone photos taken at the hospital.

Worried Dad
Worried Dad
Eric getting CAT scan
Eric getting CAT scan