A new study that was funded by the National Institute of Health is suggesting that when children’s seizures are prolonged, they may be able to show whether the child is likely to develop epilepsy later in life. The study is also suggesting that this information can be gathered by using an MRI or EEG. The study has found that children show signs of an acute brain injury after having a prolonged seizure that is related to a fever. Some of the kids also showed abnormalities with the brain’s anatomy.
“Our goal has been to develop biomarkers that will tell us whether or not a particular child is at risk for epilepsy. This could in turn help us develop strategies to prevent the disorder,” said study investigator Shlomo Shinnar, M.D., Ph.D. Shinnar is a professor of neurology, pediatrics and epidemiology and the Hyman Climenko Professor of Neuroscience Research at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City.
The type of seizures that are a part of the study are called febrile seizures. While most of the kids that have these seizures do not suffer from any long-term health problems afterward, some of the kids have been diagnosed with epilepsy later on in life. For now, febrile seizures tracking has some experts believing that the kids expected to develop epilepsy after having more than one febrile seizure will reach an estimated 30-40 percent.
“While the majority of children fully recover from febrile status epilepticus, some will go on to develop epilepsy. We have no way of knowing yet who they will be,” Shinnar said.
The use of imaging devices like MRIs and EEGs may be able to locate the damage to the brain that can help doctors predict the child’s epilepsy risks. The study is called FEBSTAT — Consequences of Prolonged Febrile Seizures in Childhood — and focused primarily on the patient’s risks of developing temporal lobe epilepsy.
Epilepsy is often treated with anti-seizure medications like Topamax. Topamax is popular but has been found to be dangerous to babies whose mothers take the drug while pregnant. Babies exposed to Topamax in-utero can be born with birth defects including PPHN, spina bifida, oral clefts, neural tube defects and heart, lung and brain defects.
If your baby was born with a birth defect after the mother used Topamax during pregnancy, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your baby’s injuries.