Epilepsy Talk

Dilantin — What People Are Saying…

November 13, 2018
23 Comments

When I was first diagnosed with epilepsy back in 1969, the availability of AEDs was limited.

Phenobarbital or Dilantin.

Pick your poison.

I chose Dilantin. It was not a pretty picture.


Dilantin — Hero or Horror?

November 12, 2018
13 Comments

Dilantin (Phenytoin) can be considered the grandfather of all epilepsy medications.

Although it was invented in 1908 as a chemical that could prevent convulsions during electroshock treatment, its popularity grew quickly, and as early as 1940, it was hailed as initiating a whole new epoch of anti-epilepsy drugs, motivating researchers to seek even more effective medications and pharmaceutical companies set up aggressive screening programs.

In the next two decades, a dozen new anticonvulsants were introduced into clinical therapy!

Today, Dilantin remains one of the most widely used drugs in the world.


Autoimmune Epilepsy — Cause of Previously Unexplained Seizures?

November 7, 2018
2 Comments

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are the mainstay of treatment for epilepsy, but seizures continue in one-third of patients despite appropriate AED therapeutic trials.

Even in the current era, the etiology of epilepsy often remains unclear.

Some patients with unexplained partial seizures which are medication resistant may have “autoimmune epilepsy” — epilepsy characterized by autoimmune antibodies.

Although autoimmune epilepsy is still rare, it’s become an increasingly recognized cause of epilepsy, which might have been previously thought to be of unknown cause.

What is the immune system and what are the types of immune disorders?


Memory Tips You (Hopefully) Won’t Forget!

October 24, 2018
16 Comments

I have a confession to make.

I’m the queen of “Post-Its”. I have Post-Its on tables, counters, walls, doors. I don’t know how I lived without them.

I guess, in the “old” days, I was the same with lists. Many lists. And way too much Scotch Tape.

Factoid: The man who invented Post-Its was an employee at 3M (also the maker of Scotch Tape) who went to his boss with a bright new idea. I don’t know if he got a raise, but he gets no royalties. Just my undying admiration and thanks.

Anyway, short of taking stock in 3M, here are some other suggestions…


Epilepsy and Memory…

October 21, 2018
17 Comments

To say that lack of memory is a major worry for those of us with epilepsy is hardly a surprise.

In fact, it’s the number one concern.

Simply put, memory is our brain’s ability to store information and find it again later.

Chemical and electrical changes happen in your brain when new memories are made.

It’s a natural brain process that requires continuing attention and recording by parts of your brain.


Medical Marijuana — What the Experts are Saying

October 13, 2018
19 Comments

“It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes Marijuana is the only thing that works… It is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve Marijuana. We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.” — Dr. Sanjay Gupta / Neurosurgeon.


The Great Debate — Medical Marijuana

October 9, 2018
17 Comments

Even though the cannabis plant has a long history of medicinal use, with evidence dating back to 2,737 BCE, it’s still a subject of hot controversy. 

It appears to be a standing battle between politics and science.

The legality requires proof of medical marijuana’s effectiveness.

Reports of success are anecdotal.

Yet there are no funds for clinical trials and it remains on a back burner for further NIH funding and research.

(Wow. What a surprise!)

Dr. Ben Whalley, who is leading the research at the department of pharmacy at the University of Reading, said: “There was a stigma associated with cannabis that came out from the 60’s and 70’s associated with recreational use, so people have tended not to look at it medicinally as a result.”

But now, some experts are calling for fresh research into the potential of cannabis-like compounds to help alleviate seizures.

Because further evidence has emerged that an ingredient of cannabis could help prevent epileptic seizures.


Fighting Seizures Nutritionally

October 6, 2018
12 Comments

I know from personal experience as a Health & Wellness writer that certain nutrients can help your neuro functions.

But, like anything else, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

What food combinations that work for one might definitely not work for another.

And it certainly doesn’t take the place of meds.

However, I do believe that although living a healthy lifestyle won’t cure you…it can certainly help you.

So, here’s some information for sensible eating and supplementing your diet.


“Pseudo Seizures” AND Epilepsy – Yes, You CAN Have BOTH!

October 2, 2018
7 Comments

Some know it as non-epileptic seizures (NES), psychogenic non-epileptic seizures  (PNES), or pseudo seizures.

And then there’s epilepsy. Which is what?

What seizures all have in common is that they are usually sudden, short, and cause a change in the person’s awareness of where they are, what they are doing, what they are thinking or what they are feeling.

Some people have more than one type of seizure.

For example, around 15 in every 100 people with non-epileptic seizures (NES) also have epilepsy.


Epilepsy Drug Side-Effects

September 23, 2018
36 Comments

They’re necessary, but not necessarily nice.

And every med has its own side-effects.

Just as different people experience different difficulties.

But here‘s the low-down on the possible side-effects.

I hope you don’t have to suffer any of them. (Or as few as possible.)


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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