Epilepsy

A child with epilepsy relaxing in a chair

Medical science has made huge strides in treating epilepsy in children. Our pediatric neurologists and other specialists at Nemours work together, using the most effective, proven medications and treatments to help control and prevent seizures in kids. We treat all children as we would our own so they can do what kids do best: play, laugh and grow into the healthiest adults they can be.

 
Read More About Epilepsy in Children

Nemours neurology specialists have the skills, training and technology to evaluate your child’s seizures and the compassion to find ways to control epileptic seizures with the fewest possible side effects. Our epilepsy program specialists provide a plan of care that’s specially tailored for your child, using medication therapy as the main method of treating epilepsy in children.

Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando


13535 Nemours Parkway
Orlando, FL 32827
Get Map & Directions »
Learn More About This Location »

For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

 
What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
New Patients

Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
 
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
Instruction Sheets

Renowned neurologists at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando work with other specialists to provide comprehensive care in the evaluation and treatment of epilepsy in children as well as childhood and infant seizures.

At Nemours, our goal is to help children with epilepsy participate fully in school and other activities so they can enjoy a childhood that’s playful and promising.

Expert Epilepsy & Seizure Care for Children in Central Florida

There is often no identifiable cause for seizures or epilepsy in children, but our Nemours comprehensive epilepsy team will continue to investigate further to narrow down the possibilities and make a diagnosis so your child can get the right treatment, without delay. Because of this, it’s important to determine whether your child has a form of epilepsy or if these seizure-like events have some other cause.

There is often no identifiable cause for seizures/epilepsy, but our Nemours comprehensive epilepsy team will continue to investigate further to narrow down the possibilities and make a diagnosis so your child can get the right treatment, without delay.

Learn More About Epilepsy & Seizures From Nemours’ KidsHealth.org »

 
Evaluating Epilepsy in Children and Infants

If your child is having seizures, we know it can be scary. But you can help us by providing as much information as possible about what you or others observe during a seizure. If possible, write down as many details as you can remember, including:

  • where and when the episode(s) occurred
  • what your child was doing just before
  • how long the episode(s) lasted
  • any abnormal or involuntary movements or behavior

A Nemours pediatric neurologist will review this information and your child’s medical history, and perform a thorough neurological examination.

 
If Your Child Needs Additional Diagnostic Tests

Medical work-ups for seizures and epilepsy in children requires considering (and ruling out) many possible causes. In addition to a detailed medical history and neurological examination, there are a few tests that can help us determine whether your child has epilepsy or seizures/spells caused by something else. For example:

  • blood tests (glucose/blood sugar, complete blood count, electrolytes and liver and kidney function tests)
  • electroencephalography/EEG (wires attached to the head with glue to record electrical activity in the brain)
  • brain imaging tests (CT or “CAT” scan, MRI and PET scans to look for brain/vessel malformations, tumors or scar tissue)
  • spinal tap/lumbar puncture (check for infections or other issues)

This information helps us determine, if possible, the cause of your child’s episodes so we can move toward an effective treatment. These tests are easily arranged at the hospital on an outpatient basis. In some cases, we may need to schedule an overnight stay for long-term video EEG monitoring.

 
Treating Epilepsy in Children

The treatment for epilepsy and seizures in children depends on the cause. If your child is diagnosed with epilepsy, our goal will be to control the condition and minimize the impact of seizures on daily life. No single treatment for epilepsy works for every child, so the pediatric neurologists who are part of the Nemours epilepsy program will consider all the unique factors that contribute to your child’s condition.

We may recommend one or more of these treatments:

  • Anti-seizure medications: Most kids respond well to this type of therapy. Finding just the right medication and dosage may involve some adjustments and fine-tuning.
  • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS): Surgeons implant a small device with a long-lasting battery in the chest, just under the skin. A tiny wire runs from the device to the left vagus nerve, which connects to the brain stem. The device delivers short bursts of electricity at regular intervals, which may help reduce the frequency and severity of your child’s seizures. Implanting the VNS device and wire requires general anesthesia and an overnight stay at the hospital.
  • Ketogenic diet: This precise diet, rich in fats and low in carbohydrates and proteins, can help reduce epilepsy symptoms in some children. If this is right for your child, your Nemours neurology specialist and a nutritionist will guide you and your child about which foods to add and avoid.
  • Pediatric epilepsy surgery: In extreme cases, and if other treatments don’t work for your child, the Nemours comprehensive epilepsy team will make recommendations for further pre-surgical workups and facilitate a referral to a level four surgical epilepsy center.
 
Why It's Important To Treat Epilepsy in Children

Certain types of epileptic seizures in children can cause damage to the brain, impacting cognitive functioning (the way your child learns), behavior, emotional wellness (depression and anxiety), social functioning and more.

This is why it’s important to properly diagnose and treat not only the seizures themselves, but also to monitor and manage any long-term effects they may have on mental health, intellect and learning. We do this through neuropsychological testing, behavioral health therapy and, among other things, education about the condition to help you (and teachers and other caregivers) to help your child reach the highest potential possible.