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Non-Pharmacological Therapy of Epilepsy 

Non-Pharmacological Therapy of Epilepsy
Chapter:
Non-Pharmacological Therapy of Epilepsy
Author(s):

Peter Wolf

, Katia Lin

, and Marina Nikanorova

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199659043.003.0012
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date: 26 June 2022

Epilepsy may be defined conceptually as ‘an enduring predisposition to generate seizures’ requiring ‘the occurrence of at least one epileptic seizure’ or operationally as ‘a condition characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures’. Both definitions imply an indication for treatment but not for a specific type of treatment. Pharmacotherapy, if possible with one antiepileptic drug (AED) in monotherapy, is considered the standard treatment for the majority of the affected persons. The method of continuous administration of AEDs is closely related to the view that epileptic seizures are spontaneous and unpredictable. This may be correct in most cases but other possibilities exist and allow different approaches addressing the prevention or arrest of individual seizure events by various means. In some patients, pharmacotherapy fails and treatment alternatives become desirable. Surgical treatment and stimulation methods have their own chapters in this book, but specific diets are another possibility and are in some cases more effective than drugs. The widely varied approaches which are the subject of this chapter, have in common that they give the patients a much more active role in the treatment of their condition than both drug treatment and surgery.

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