Health Watch — Neurological Problems: Managing Epilepsy

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about diseases that affect the nervous system. Nearly two and a half million Americans have epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes seizures. Most of these people use medication to control their symptoms. Dr. Paul Van Ness, director of the Epilepsy Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says friends and family members of people with epilepsy need to be sure they’re taking their medicine.

Some patients may avoid taking their medication because of the expense or because of the side effects. Some known side effects to epilepsy medications include fatigue, blurred vision, dizziness or abdominal discomfort. If patients have trouble with side effects or with cost, they should discuss the issues with their doctor instead of giving up on the medicine. The doctor may be able to work with the patient to fine tune the treatment plan to lessen problems.


March 2007

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