Absence Seizures &/OR Side Effects

Been on Lamictal for 6 months and believed to have been experiencing Absense seizures. After doing some research I am sure this has been going on long before my diagnosis in May 2010.

Through School I was critisized for my lack of concentration and 'being off in my own world', daydreaming and teased for staring at kids in high school. 

I've started the
Keppra last Tuesday and the side effects from that are kicking in ... by
11am I'm so tired I could go to sleep, I feel hung over when I get up
in the morning. But between 7 and 1030 am i'm fine, i feel good. After
lunch I'm ok but then by 3pm i'm buggered again.Is there something I can do or take to give me more energy?


What is the medication going to do to me and or my stomach inthe long term ?

 I get aggressive and angry about stupid little things. So angry sometimes that I cant even think. I'm seriously stressed out. So I'm going to try not worrying about the whole epilepsy thing, take my meds and let the rest follow... i hope.

today I was driving through the city - in the passenger seat - my
boyfriend was driving.  Coming up to a major intersection, I see the
cars are banked up ahead but we make it accross, I see a girl at a bus
stop across the street and a car beside us. Next thing its like I snap
out of a "absence seizure" I think and I look ahead and we are coming up
to the same intersection again and the traffic ahead is banked up, its
like mega de ja vu - OR I mistook the previous intersection for the
major one we had come up to. This really weirded me out.


I'm going to see how the Keppra goes and ask the Neuro about this one mid December. 

 I hate that I forget everything, I'll be mid sentence during a conversation and completely forget what I'm talking about ...

 Any comments will be much appreciated. thanks.


Re: Absence Seizures &/OR Side Effects

My doctor said that I have had complex partial seizures and now the
recent discovery of the Absence Seizures - it would just be a whole lot
easier if there were a test or something to prove that that is actually
what it is but I guess they just use your symptoms etc to make a
diagnosis. Thinking back to my previous seizures I would have a slight
headache and then start feeling sick in the stomach, get hot flushes,
feel like vomitting - the last 2 times I've managed to say to who I was
with at the time that I didnt feel so good, however both of them do not
recall this ... I must of past out as I said it. I also remember once
when I was about 11 and it was real late at night and I'd been ill - I
walked up to my parents room and called for my Mum next thing I was in a
pile on the floor but I could still hear my Mum talking to my Dad.

I want to know what caused my part of the brain called left hippocampus
to be a different shape and smaller than the other side, how does this
cause seizures and why?? You probably cant answer that but I will have
to ask my Dr.

Re: Absence Seizures &/OR Side Effects

Hi PrettyInPink1286,

Some of my more minor seizures seemed like they would have been classified as Absence Seizures, as I would have brief periods where I would be unresponsive, with poor or no memory of the brief period. The strongest evidences of absence seizures were in my first grade class at school during recess, when during periods of unresponsiveness while I remained standing "frozen" in place, my fellow students would use me as a kicking-post, and I didn't know and couldn't explain where the bruises on my legs came from, to the consternation of my parents. My teacher told my parents that it was my fault for playing a tempting target without making any evasive moves to avoid the kicks, and if I didn't like it, I should have just left or avoided the situation.

Now at 57 years old, my partial seizures are still frequent every day, strong clusters of partial seizures happen about once a month, and secondarily generalized tonic-clonics, that were frequent the last two decades with the clusters, are now prevented with Keppra, but no luck with controlling the partials. My seizures most like "Absence Seizures" are now very brief, and detectable if they strike while I'm holding anything very heavy (the seizure makes me drop it) or if I'm in a "count" either of time, steps, music, etc., and there is a "jump" or "mis-count" in whichever electronic record I'm keeping at the time (usually audio and/or GPS, but with video/camera prices dropping, maybe video/photographic recording too). Some of my current "Absence Seizures" could also often be considered as possible very short "Atonic" (but not "astatic"?) seizures, but too brief for my own whole body to drop. http://books.google.com/books?id=TfrwxdXcmosC&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=atonic+v...

Absence Seizures are classified as "Primarily Generalised Seizures", as they indicate initial involvement of both hemispheres of the brain, unless they are "secondarily generalised seizures", that start as a partial seizure, but quickly after onset of the partial seizure, spreads the seizure to both sides of the brain, and doesn't remain localised to one side. This classification system doesn't make much sense when Limbic Seizures are the onset seizures, with seizures that do not remain localized to one part and one side of the Limbic System, or spread beyond the Limbic System. (With only the "absence" as the event, the ILAE classification system of 1981 fails to distinguish between "generalised" and "partial", and between "primary" and "secondarily", without nearly, if not, impossible eeg evidence). The newer system (2010) creates more confusion, with little benefit. Then, "consciousness" is such a vague concept, that it doesn't have a valid and objective definition. http://www.ilae-epilepsy.org/Visitors/Centre/ctf/ctfoverview.cfm

IMO, instead of sticking strickly to ILAE classifications, the concept of "Limbic Seizures" forms a basis to explain much more than does the classification of "Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy". The parts of the Limbic System most often associated with epilepsy, are one of the hippocampi (either the left one or the right one) or one of the amygdalae (left or right). "Epigastric Rising" sensations are common with Limbic seizures: http://books.google.com/books?id=TfrwxdXcmosC&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=atonic+v...
and, http://books.google.com/books?id=Z3eX0Mu4KdQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Lim...

The hippocampus is easily damaged and/or scarred by high fevers in childhood, the long QT Syndrome, otherwise minor injury, food/drug intolerances, asphyxiation, etc. Initial very minor seizures can also easily "kindle" additional damage in the hippocampus, and in time result in atrophy and/or more scarring of the hippocampus, making seizures more frequent and more severe in the long run.

I had much better luck with Keppra on my second try with Keppra. My first try with Keppra, while also on Dilantin, seemed to be prone to emotional lability (most often, becoming easily annoyed). After stopping Keppra for a couple months or so, a second try with a very slow dose escalation, prevented most emotional side-effects of Keppra. Once my Keppra routine started working, I slowly stopped Dilantin because of probable side-effects resulting in bone-loss.


Re: Absence Seizures &/OR Side Effects

Wow. Thanks for all the info. I will be sure to update how I get on with the Keppra.  Fingers crossed that my Appointment with the Neuro mid Dec goes well and I'll be back on the road and under control. I cant imagine having seizures on a daily basis. Hope you are coping ok, I guess you've had quite a bit of time to deal with it all. Thanks again, Alice.

Re: Absence Seizures &/OR Side Effects

hi Pretty,

I'd gone through the same. So here are my suggestions:

1) Add more green vegetables to your diet. they provide Vit B6 which helps in the absorption of vit B12. B12 is a mood lifter and keeps one active. it helps fight depression too.

2) Add more Sea-food to the diet. It provides B12. In fact, it is better than red meat in this respect.

3) Stay busy in the activities you like.

4) read motivational books. it really helps.

5) Sleep 1-2 hours more in the night.

I felt the same side effects initially and consulted many (yes, many!) neurologists abt the same. They told me keppra was a safe medicine and does not harm in the long run. However, if the problem grows, your neurologist might consider changing the medicine. Keep them informed.

Best of luck!