Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused due to surges in electrical signals inside the brain, which result in seizures.
Expected duration of epilepsy
- Epilepsy cannot be cured: it is a lifelong condition, but in most people, recurrent seizures can be prevented with medications. Studies have shown that recurrent seizures can be prevented with medications in up to 70% of newly diagnosed children and adults with epilepsy for several years. If you have no seizures for about 2-5 years after the start of treatment, medications can be slowly withdrawn in about 70% of children and 60% of adults without relapses (i.e. without further seizures).
- Duration of recurrent seizures and response to treatment is better when treatment is started early in the course of the disease. Delay in starting treatment makes it more difficult to control seizures.
- People, who are younger when seizures start, are more likely to respond to treatment and become seizure-free.
- If seizures are caused due to an underlying brain disease, recurrent seizures are more likely even with treatment. Partial seizures with an underlying brain disease may cause recurrent seizures more than generalised seizures.
Fortunately most people with epilepsy can avoid recurrent seizures if they take prescribed medications as directed (dose and timing). In many cases of epilepsy that remain seizure-free for 2 to 5 years, the doctor may stop the medication. Some people may have to take medication indefinitely. It is important to never stop medication without consulting your physician.
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