Seizure Disorders & Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a relatively common condition affecting about 1% of the population with 125,000 new diagnoses made annually in the United States alone. Nearly 2.5 million Americans have epilepsy, and about 9% of the general population will have at least one seizure during their lives. Symptoms may include convulsions, staring, muscle spasms, odd feelings, or episodes of impaired consciousness. Seizures that occur more than once are called epilepsy.

Upper Cervical Injuries, Seizures & Epilepsy

Without constant nerve signals from the brain stem into the cerebrum, the brain becomes useless. This can be a critical factor in the development of seizure disorders. Misalignments in the upper cervical spine (neck) can affect the function of the brain stem and trigger an “electrical storm” within the brain that could develop into seizures.

What Causes Seizures & Epilepsy?

Epilepsy occurs as a result of abnormal electrical activity within the brain. Brain cells communicate by sending electrical signals in an orderly pattern. In epilepsy, these electrical signals become abnormal, giving rise to an “electrical storm” that produces seizures. The healthcare community poorly understands the cause of epilepsy and seizure disorders, yet researchers continue to focus on trauma as a key player for many individuals. Regardless of age, an injury to the head or trauma to the neck and/or upper back can play a key role in the development of seizures. In certain pediatric cases, the injury may occur during the birthing process. After an injury, seizures may begin immediately or, in some cases, take months or years to develop.

Common Medical Treatments For Seizure Disorders & Epilepsy

According to the Physician’s Desk Reference, the traditional drugs used to treat seizure disorders and epilepsy is associated with many adverse side effects; a number of them are potentially dangerous. A study published by the American Family Physician states that many of the drugs used to treat seizures and epilepsy fail to adequately control seizures, and 25 to 40% of patients with epilepsy continue to have seizures despite treatment with traditional antiepileptic drugs. Up to 61% of patients with seizures report having side effects with antiepileptic drugs. Newer antiepileptic drugs may be more effective, but their potential for serious side effects requires careful consideration of the risks verses benefits.