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Epilepsy and the Family

By
Richard Lechtenberg

Epilepsy and the Family
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Reviewer: Allison Martin

Epilepsy and the Family by Richard Lechtenberg is a detailed guide to epilepsy and its impact on the individual and the family. (Epilepsy is defined as the tendency to have recurring seizures.) According to Dr. Lechtenberg, a person who is vulnerable to seizures has a lowered seizure threshold. It may be temporarily lowered or it may be chronically lowered. Individuals with chronically lowered seizure thresholds tend to have recurrent seizures under conditions that do not provoke seizures in most of the healthy population. Dr. Lechtenberg describes a variety of structural and chemical abnormalities in the brain such as brain tumors, malformation of blood vessels, central nervous system infection, head injury, or stroke as examples of factors that can lead to seizures. Hereditary patterns also occur.

The chapter on children with seizures is exceptional. It addresses causes, management of childhood seizures, learning and behavior problems, prognosis, seizure-like disorders, and treatment. The general discussions of diagnosis of seizures and treatment and medication will be useful to parents as well.

However, as much of the information is not age specific, it can be overwhelming and unduly alarming. In addition, there is a bit too much emphasis on parent's tendency to overprotect their children.

Bottom line - parents will find this book provides a comprehensive overview of seizures, from which they will gain an in-depth knowledge of seizures and how to live with them..

Quote from the book:

"Regardless of what type of seizure disorder a person has, his seizures make him the victim of prejudices and misconceptions that have only recently shown signs of abating. Generalizations about the mental and emotional characteristics of people with epilepsy are inappropriate and usually inaccurate. Most types of epilepsy do not disturb the affected person's ability or desire to live and work in conventional ways. Especially in people with idiopathic epilepsy who take medication, the limitations imposed by the disorder itself may be negligible."

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