Advanced Epilepsy Treatments in MA

Pediatric Epilepsy Treatments

There is no known cure for pediatric epilepsy; however, advancements in treatments make it possible for most children to achieve seizure control. Seizure medications are generally the first option treatment your doctor will try. Several anti-seizure medications can prevent or stop seizures. Anti-seizure medications don’t fix the underlined cause of the episodes, but they do work to stop seizures from occurring. Other treatment options available are dietary therapies, devices, or surgery that can help control seizures.

The first treatment step is usually to find the right anti-seizure or anti-epileptic drug (AED). Identifying the best medication and dosage is complex and may require trying multiple drugs. The child’s frequency of seizures, age, and overall health condition are factors when selecting a medication. Over twenty types of anti-seizure medications are available to clinicians to choose from. Anti-seizure drugs aren’t without side effects. Each child responds differently to medications, so it may take several tries to determine the most appropriate medication and dosage. If seizures continue to happen, other treatments like devices, dietary therapies, or surgery can help control seizures.

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Our Fast Access Neurology (FAN) Service ensures a clinic visit with an expert pediatric neurologist within 24 to 72 hours after referral or initial contact with Children’s Brain Institute. We believe each child with neurological, cognitive, and psychiatric disorders deserves immediate attention and care to provide an opportunity to reach optimum brain function and capacity and prevent developmental delays.

Epileptologist are epilepsy specialist. Your child will be seen by an Epileptologist at Children's Brain Institute

Surgery is often an option when medications fail to control seizures adequately. With epilepsy surgery, a surgeon removes the area of your brain causing seizures. Once considered a last resort, surgical procedures have advanced to become a viable alternative to medications, especially when drugs fail to control seizures or if the side effects are too harsh for the child to tolerate. There are several surgical procedures available to your doctor. Advanced technologies can pinpoint seizure-causing areas in the brain. The location of the seizure-causing area and the type of seizure experienced will determine which procedure the doctor recommends.

In addition to medications and surgery, these potential therapies offer an alternative for treating epilepsy. Vagus nerve stimulation, a device called a vagus nerve stimulator, is implanted. The surgeon implants a device near the collarbone, and a wire is connected to the vagus nerve. When the device is activated, it stimulates the nerve to send signals to the brain. The device can usually reduce seizures by 20-40%. Stimulating the vagus nerve can help people with epilepsy.  Vagus nerve stimulation isn’t without side effects, such as throat pain, shortness of breath, or coughing hoarse voice.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure used to treat several disabling neurological symptoms, including epilepsy. Deep brain stimulation is an option for people whose seizures cannot be treated with other types of epilepsy surgery. A surgeon implants electrodes into a specific part of the brain, typically the thalamus. Thin wires carry electrical impulses from the neurostimulator device directly to the brain to stop brain signals that cause seizures.

A responsive neurostimulation device is a medical device that senses changes in a person’s body and uses neurostimulation to respond in treating disease.  A neurostimulator is placed under the scalp and within the skull, and it is connected to 2 electrodes placed either on the surface of the brain, into the brain, or a combination of both. This treatment has not yet been approved for children in the US.


Every child’s seizures are different and individual results will vary.