Child Neurology practice in Pasadena, CA

Epilepsy services offered in Pasadena, CA

About 6 in 1000 American children have epilepsy today. At AMS Neurology, located in Pasadena, California, longtime pediatric neurologist Charles Niesen, MD, understands the unique challenges of epilepsy. He offers comprehensive testing and treatment to prevent and manage seizures. The right epilepsy management plan can improve your child’s quality of life and bring you peace of mind, so reach out for help by calling the office or clicking the online booking link now. 

Epilepsy Q & A

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a disorder that causes recurrent seizures — sudden periods of disrupted nerve cell activity in the brain. Seizures occur when nerve cells send the wrong signals, leading to odd sensations, strange emotions, or unusual behavior. Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders affecting children today. 

What are the symptoms of a seizure?

The symptoms of a seizure can vary with the specific type and subtype. Some affect just one part of the brain while others affect the entire brain. Common symptoms can include: 

  • Erratic movements
  • Limpness
  • Stiffness 
  • Lack of response when you speak 
  • Spasms
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Disconnected appearance (staring into space)

Some seizures cause loss of consciousness. 

How is epilepsy diagnosed?

The AMS Neurology providers review your child’s complete medical history and all details about their seizures. 

Electroencephalogram (EEG) is a crucial test for an epilepsy diagnosis. During an EEG, your child’s provider evaluates the electrical patterns in their brain, allowing them to observe the changes related to seizures. 

In addition to in-office EEG, AMS Neurology offers ambulatory EEG, a test that records electrical brain activity for a full day as your child goes about their activities at home. 

Your child may also need other types of diagnostic testing, such as blood tests, CT scans, or MRIs. Diagnostic testing can help your provider determine the reason for the seizures and make the correct diagnosis.

How is epilepsy treated?

Epilepsy treatment focuses on controlling seizures and preventing brain damage. Generally, antiseizure medication is the first-line treatment for epilepsy in children. Your child may not need medication anymore after being seizure-free for a period (a year or two.) 

If medication isn’t effective or your child can’t tolerate medication side effects, their provider may recommend other treatment approaches, such as a ketogenic diet. 

Vagus nerve stimulation, which involves electrical stimulation of nerves in the neck when a seizure occurs, may be an effective option for children 12 and older. 

In some instances, surgery to remove the portion of the brain affected by seizures may be the best way to prevent long-term damage from epilepsy. 

The AMS Neurology providers are pediatric neurology specialists who understand the complex challenges of epilepsy, and they’re ready to help children live healthy lives. Support is available all of the time with 24-hour phone service. 

For the best in epilepsy care, call AMS Neurology or book your child’s consultation online today.