Epilepsy versus pediatric seizures

Pediatrician Wendy Mitchell, MD Neurology, shares advice for parents on the differences between pediatric seizures and epilepsy in children
The Differences Between Pediatric Seizures And Epilepsy In Children
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Epilepsy versus pediatric seizures

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Seizures are a part of epilepsy, but there’s other reasons to have seizures. So for example, a child who has a seizure with fever doesn’t have epilepsy, they have a febrile seizure. There’s other provoked seizures: So if you’re driving along and you’re on the freeway and you get hit and you whacked your head on the windshield, not with a severe head injury, but you have an immediate seizure – that’s not epilepsy, that’s what’s called an acute impact seizure. If you have a fainting spell – particularly if you faint upright – you can actually make a lot of people seize. That’s not epilepsy, that’s called a provoked syncope seizure. Another kind of provoked seizure is if you get extremely hypoglycemic, like you get overdosed on insulin or something and you have a convulsion. That’s a convulsion, it’s a seizure, but it’s not epilepsy. Epilepsy very simply means two or more unprovoked seizures. So there’s three things – provoked seizures, single unprovoked seizures and epilepsy.

Pediatrician Wendy Mitchell, MD Neurology, shares advice for parents on the differences between pediatric seizures and epilepsy in children

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Wendy Mitchell, MD

Pediatrician, Neurology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Wendy Mitchell, MD, is Professor of Clinical Neurology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. She is acting Division Head of Neurology at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, where she has practiced for over 30 years. She is a native of Los Angeles. Her current research interests include cognitive and behavioral aspects of childhood epilepsy, clinical research in anticonvulsants, and a rare immune-mediated syndrome, opsoclonus-myoclonus (or dancing eyes syndrome). In her free time she enjoys scuba diving and yoga.

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