Current research from the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston has found that pediatric epilepsy causes a significant impairment for children and parents. This is according to a study that was recently published in Epilepsia, a journal that is published on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE).

According to the study, parents who sleep in the same room as their epileptic children, and those who co-sleep with their kid, experience a decrease in their sleep quality. When you consider the fact that 1 percent of American children are epileptic, this study is very significant because parents of these kids suffer from irregular sleep patterns as much as the kids do. Previous studies have shown that there is a reciprocal interaction, where an epileptic’s sleep patterns affect their seizures and vice versa. Those previous studies also show that a lack of sleep can trigger a seizure.

This new study, which was conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Thiele and her colleagues, sought to explore how sleep quality directly affects the condition of those with pediatric epilepsy. For this study, researchers analyzed data collected from 105 households of those that contained epileptics and 79 controls. They surveyed the parents of epileptic children and kids that didn’t have epilepsy between the ages of two and ten. For the survey, researchers assessed seizure history, child-parent sleep quality and household sleep arrangements.

“Our study determined that households with a child with epilepsy had higher rates of parent-child room sharing and co-sleeping compared to controls,” said Dr. Thiele. “Close to 64 percent of parents who reported co-sleeping did not do so prior to onset of their child’s seizures, and nearly 66 percent did not co-sleep with the child’s sibling at the same age. A decreased quality of sleep was reported in 62 percent of parents who were co-sleeping with their children.”

Understanding how sleep affects seizures may help future research determine how best to treat kids with epilepsy and even allow for better sleep for them and their parents. This may also help get some epileptics of medications like Topamax, which are used to treat seizures. Medications like Topamax cause side effects that can be just as debilitating as the conditions they are treating. Pregnant women should be wary about taking Topamax since the drug has been found to cause birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drug while pregnant. Topamax causes birth defects that include PPHN, oral clefts, cleft palate, spina bifida and neural defects.

If your child was born with birth defects and you have taken Topamax, 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 child’s injuries.