Examinations and care for epilepsy patients

​Epilepsy treatment is mostly carried out during the appointments. The causes of the first seizure are determined through examinations. Medications are not usually initiated immediately after the first seizure.

At the appointment, the patient is weighed and measured and his or her blood pressure is taken. The seizure situation is carefully discussed with the parents. It is recommended that all seizures are recorded in a "diary" which is brought to the appointment.

When seizures are under control, an appointment once or twice a year is sufficient. Adolescents meet with the physician first by themselves, and after this discussion, the physician will invite the parents in. In addition to focusing on the treatment of epilepsy, the development of the child/adolescent and issues related to the family's daily routines are discussed at the appointment with a pediatric neurologist and nurse. The main objective of the treatment is to secure the normal, healthy development of the child and to ensure as normal a life as possible. Severe epilepsy, in particular, may affect the child's quality of life. Positively supporting the child's self-concept and minimising fears of seizures and feelings of being "different" are an important part of care. However, these can only be accomplished, if the child's situation is comprehensively understood and a multidisciplinary approach is applied in diagnosing the symptoms and problems and in treatment and rehabilitation. Additionally, a collaborative effort is required from everyone involved in the care of the child.

When other neurological disorders or physical or learning disabilities are associated with epilepsy, the clinic also performs the related assessments and plans any necessary rehabilitation. In most cases, the consultation clinic for epilepsy makes the treatment plans for epilepsy and rehabilitation is planned at the rehabilitation clinic of pediatric neurology, the local health centre, central hospital or intellectual disability care centre.

There are some examinations such as laboratory tests which can be performed during the appointment. Laboratory tests can be taken at any of HUSLAB's sample collection sites, irrespective of place of residence. If the local laboratory is not a HUSLAB laboratory, the patient will need a hard copy of the referral to laboratory tests. Appointments to other examinations are scheduled and the patient is then sent home.

Patients are transferred from pediatric to adult care when they are 16 to 20 years old. A natural transfer usually occurs when the young person finishes school and begins further education. The prognosis for epilepsy which starts in childhood is good, and in most cases anti-epileptic drugs can be withdrawn after a sufficiently long seizure-free period before the patient reaches maturity.