Epilepsy and Seizures in Children
Anything that interrupts the normal connections between nerve cells in the brain can cause a seizure, including a high fever, low blood sugar or a concussion. Under these circumstances, anyone can have a seizure. However, when a child has two or more recurrent, unprovoked seizures, he or she is considered to have epilepsy.
There are many possible causes of epilepsy, including an imbalance of nerve-signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, tumors, strokes and brain damage from illness or injury. In most cases, there is no detectable cause of epilepsy.
While the exact cause of a seizure may not be known, they are most commonly caused by the following factors.
In newborns and infants:
- Birth trauma
- Congenital (present at birth) problems
- Fever or infection
- Metabolic or chemical imbalances in the body
In children, adolescents and young adults:
- Alcohol or drugs
- Trauma to the head or brain injury
- Congenital or genetic conditions
In people of any age:
- Brain tumor
- Neurological problems
- Drug withdrawal
- Use of illicit drugs
Treatment depends on the type of seizure and can include medications, vagus nerve stimulation or surgery.
Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital pediatric neurologists specialize in epilepsy and other seizure disorders as well as other problems related to the brain, spine and nervous system, including headaches, tics, epilepsy, developmental delays and neuromuscular disorders. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital is the region’s only associate member of the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA).