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Researchers Scale to assess the Severity of Epilepsy in Kids

Epilepsy in kids is almost a nightmare to their respective parents, that too when it is resistant to the treatment. Researchers identified three factors that may increase a child's risk of having intractable epilepsy - a form of the disease that does not respond to commonly used drugs.

Children who have their first epileptic seizure before their first birthday which is also called symptomatic generalized epilepsy - are at greatest risk, according to Anne Berg, an associate professor in biological sciences at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. "We found evidence that the higher the frequency, the more the probability of intractability" she explains.

Researchers also found that children who had "focal slowing" a particular abnormality on their electroencephalogram (EEG) tests, were also at increased risk for intractable epilepsy. These three factors would help the doctors to predict which of them will need more aggressive therapy such as surgery, newer drugs or a specialized diet.

A lot of these children do well on currently available medications and treatment. But if doctors see these abnormalities, alarm bells should go off, and they might want to explore some of the newer treatments.

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