Reducing your child's seizures
If you have a child living with a seizure disorder, you may be worried about how epilepsy will affect his or her progress in school, what will trigger the next seizure, and how it will affect your child's development.
At the Pediatric Epilepsy Centers of NewYork-Presbyterian, we pinpoint your child's seizures and what may be triggering them and work with you to tailor an effective plan of care.
Dedicated pediatric epilepsy monitoring
We use the most advanced EEG and video-EEG technology to pinpoint the location, type, and severity of your child's seizures, as well as brain imaging tests and special electrophysiologic mapping techniques. Our centers have dedicated inpatient epilepsy monitoring units just for children.
A stepwise approach to managing seizures
We tailor therapy to your child's needs, taking into account other factors — such as lifestyle, stress, sleep habits, and diet — that may trigger your child's seizures.
Many antiseizure medications are available to treat your child’s epilepsy. If one doesn't work, we will try others until we find a treatment that works.
Dietary therapies may help control your child’s seizures. The ketogenic diet is a precisely calculated high-fat, low-carbohydrate, restrictive diet that will require one of our dietitians to work closely with your family to support your child's needs. Less restrictive dietary treatments that may help promote seizure control include the low glycemic index diet and the modified Atkins diet.
If your child's seizures are not well-controlled despite trying two or three antiseizure medications — and video-EEG monitoring rules out other causes of your child's seizures — surgery may be an option., Our pediatric neurosurgeons pinpoint minuscule targets and safely remove the tiny amount of brain tissue that is responsible for your child’s seizures.
Some young patients with seizures are candidates for a therapy called neuromodulation. We implant a small pacemaker-like device called a vagus nerve stimulator under the skin of your child's chest to stimulate the nervous system and reduce the frequency and severity of your child's seizures.
Specialized care for children with other disorders
Some disorders may predispose children to seizures, such as tuberous sclerosis complex, neurofibromatosis, and autism spectrum disorders. If your child has one of these disorders or another genetic disorder that can cause seizures, our dedicated specialists with expertise in these areas are available to provide care.
Transitional care to adulthood
Your child probably doesn’t dream of managing their medical care like they do one day driving a car or going to college. But as children with epilepsy get older, taking ownership of their condition when the time comes is an essential part of becoming more independent.
At NewYork-Presbyterian, we help teens and young adults with epilepsy prepare to move from pediatric care to adult services. The decision at what age to transition varies from family to family but can begin during early adolescence. Typically pediatric patients have fully transitioned to adult care by age 22. This transition is important because policies and procedures vary from our pediatric and adult services. You should speak with your child’s neurologist about making the transition from pediatric to adult care. Your doctor can make recommendations based on your child’s maturity level and readiness to take on the responsibilities of care.
Support for your family
We work closely with your family to address your child's needs and assess how they affect your family's dynamic. For school-age children who require longer-term care, staff are available to help children keep up with their educational development.