Neurological conditions in children
Neurological disorders affect the brain, spine and nerves. Generally, brain cells develop before birth fully, but millions of connections between neurons or nerve cells only form at infancy. The brain adapts to its environment. Experiences are formulated as a result of the child’s senses (sight, smell, taste and touch) which produce connections within the brain.
What are the signs of neurological conditions?
Neurological conditions can affect the cognitive, emotional and mental health of children. Symptoms of these conditions play out through the child’s behaviour. A neurological disorder such as epilepsy causes the following symptoms in children:
- Uncontrollable twitching of the limbs
- Anxiety and fear
Neurological conditions are typically inherited as a result of a combination of specific genes and chromosomes. Genetic mutations, chromosome abnormalities, variations in the number and structure of chromosomes are factors that increase the risk of neurological disorders.
Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that occurs when a surge of electrical activity reaches the brain. Seizures may affect the entire brain or only localised areas within the organ. Seizures cause the body to stiffen or shake as well as biting the tongue, loss of control of bladder and bowel is to be expected.
What does the diagnosis involve?
First, it’s vital to rule out other conditions before Dr Vahed commences treatment. There are lots of conditions that mimic epilepsy, and that should be excluded before initiating any treatment. Dr Vahed takes note of your child's medical history, which may include symptoms of infections and development history. Once assessed, your child may require other diagnostic tests; this includes:
- Imaging: CT scan/ Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Detailed images of the brain to determine any abnormalities.
- Electroencephalogram or EEG: Through the use of electrodes, an EEG measures electrical activity in the brain and can assist with diagnosing different types of epilepsy.
What does treatment involve?
Anti-epilepsy drugs (AEDs) are preventative drugs that are used to discontinue episodes of seizures. There are different types of medication, and the treatment of the epilepsy is dependent on the type your child may present with.