new seizures

i have had absence seizures since i was 7 im now 38 no grandmals when i was 14 i was put on phenobarbital which worked well i did have a grandmal sezure when i was 16 when i had pnuemonia, for the next 20 years i was seizure free on phenobarbital about a year ago i switched from pheno to lamogrine generic for lamictal and 6 months later i had a grandmal seizure after the death of my mother, that was about 6 months ago 2 months ago i had another seizure i forgot to take my meds for a couple oops my bad lol, i always start off with a absence seizure then the grandmals, also i have always had tremors but within the last year they have gotten really bad my neurologist says its exagerrated physiclogical tremors and not seizures, in the last two months i have developed what i and he beleive is myoclonic jerks, i go for a eeg next week, does anyone have any input or advice for me is lamictal a good med to take is it the same med for all three kind of seizures? are this problems fixable or just something i have to learn to live with? i seem to be getting worse and worse, also on zoloft for depression started a few months ago any help would be appreciated, forgive me for the spelling


Re: new seizures

First of all, stress is #1 on the hit parade of seizure triggers.  (Like your mother dying.)

Stress can trigger hyperventilation which can provoke seizures, especially absence seizures.  It can increase cortisol, known as “the stress hormone” because cortisol is secreted in higher levels during the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress.  And it’s responsible for several stress-related changes in the body which also may influence seizure activity.

Negative emotions related to stress, such as anger, worry or fright, may also cause seizures. This happens because the limbic system, the portion of the brain that regulates emotion, is one of the most common places for seizures to begin.  You’ll probably find that you have more seizures during or after periods of anxiety or stress. 

Was there any particular reason why you were switched from Pheno to Lamictal?  Was it your depression?

I take Lamical and have had great success with it.  At its lowest level, it's an anti-anxiety med.  At its next level, it's an anti-anxiety, anti-seizure med.  And at its highest level, it's for bi-polar people.

I take that supplemented by Klonopin which is also an anti-anxiety, anti-seizure med.  And together, they are my "magical med mix"!

As for testing, EEGs are not the be all and end all of testing.  I know of people who have had 5 EEGs, only to be properly diagnosed when they finally had Video EEG Monitoring. 

 An abnormal EEG does not diagnose epilepsy nor does a normal EEG reading exclude it.

You might inquire about OTHER diagnostic testing such as:

Video EEG Monitoring – allows prolonged simultaneous recording of the patient’s behavior and the EEG. Seeing EEG and video data at the same time, permits precise correlation between seizure activity in the brain and the patient’s behavior during seizures. Video-EEG can be vital in the diagnosis of epilepsy and epileptic seizures. It allows the doctor to determine:

Whether events with unusual features are epileptic seizures…

The type of epileptic seizure, and…

The region of the brain from which the seizures arise.

Continuous Video EEG Monitoring – studies the brain waves over time. This can be accomplished through continuous Video EEG Monitoring, where a patient stays in a special unit for at least 24 hours. Antiepileptic medication is stopped for the duration of this test, since the objective is for seizures to occur so the abnormal brain waves they produce can be recorded.

A video camera connected to the EEG provides constant monitoring, enabling the medical team to pinpoint the area where a seizure occurs and track the patient’s physiological response to the seizure. Continuous monitoring can also help distinguish between epilepsy and other conditions. It can characterize the seizure type for more precise medication adjustments and locate the originating area of seizures within the brain.

CAT Scan (Computerized Axial Tomography) or CT (Computed Tomography) – is an imaging technique that is a safe and non-invasive, using low radiation X-rays to create a computer-generated, three-dimensional image of the brain. It provides detailed information about the structure of the brain by using a series of X-ray beams passing through the head to create cross-sectional images of the brain. These may reveal abnormalities (blood clots, cysts, tumors, scar tissue, etc.) in the skull or brain which may be related to seizures. It allows physicians to examine the brain, section by section, as the test is being conducted. The CAT scan helps to point to where a person’s seizures originate.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) – is a safe and non-invasive scanning technique that uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce two or three-dimensional images of the brain. This detailed picture of brain structures helps physicians locate possible causes of seizures and identify areas that may generate seizures. No X-rays or radioactive materials are used, therefore this procedure is not known to be harmful. An MRI offers doctors the best chance of finding the source of seizures. Because seizures can arise from scar tissue in the brain, an MRI can show scar tissue and allow doctors to determine the nature of it. The images produced from the MRI are extremely precise. The information provided by MRI is valuable in the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with epilepsy.

And finally, this doc doesn't sound like a very co-operative and caring person.  You might consider switching neuros and getting a recommendation from your GP or someone else in the medical field you trust.

Also, you can go to my website for a Comprehensive List of GOOD Neurologists…Epileptologists…Neurosurgeons…and Pediatric Doctors The list is organized alphabetically by state and the doctors chosen are those recommended by eforum members, based upon positive person experiences.

GOOD LUCK.   (And don't skip your meds  again!!!)     Phylis Feiner Johnson


Re: new seizures

How does the saying go? "If it's not broke don't fix it." I don't know why your dr. would switch your medication if it was working for all those years. Lamotrigine has a completely different mechanism of action. It makes zero sense to go to this drug. He probably did it just because it's newer and supposed to have less side effects. If you were handling pheno for all those years then why risk the side effects of a new drug? lamotrigine does not have a anti-anxiety effect. Let's get that one straight. It has more of a stimulating effect. Typically you will get mood enhancement because of this but also insomnia. I can't sleep at all with lamotrigine unless I take trazodone to fall asleep. You should talk to your Dr. about getting back on phenobarbitol!



"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" - Rev 21:4