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Epilepsy

Could flu be related to seizure onset?

04/22/2009

Question:

My 9 year old daughter had a high fever with flu at theend of Feb. SHe had a couple of seizures at the time and was hospitalized to check for menigitis. She took Keppra 500 mg 2 times a day for the next month. Her MRI and CAT scan were notmal. She had an eeg right after seizure that had some spikes and then anothe one 3 weeks later. THis on we were told still a showed a little bit of spiking but was much better so we began to sean her off a little at a time as prescribed. She had a seizure 2 days after the complete stop. She is back on the same dosage of Keppra. Is it possible that the brain needs more time to heal from a seizure. Or does it heal? She does not show any signs of other neuroligal trouble. She scores extremely high on standardized tests test. She has easily learned to play the piano and is an excellent athlete. I am only saying this because we are blown away by the seizures and scared. Could Keppra withdrawl have effected her? Before the seizure she told me she was really cold and having thoughts that she could not articualte. She said ther were scary. We will be bringing her in for more testing. Thanks for reading this.

Answer:

It is likely that the flu has nothing to do with the onset of seizures. Epilepsy (defined as 2 or more seizures) can develop at any age and in most cases, we cannot identify the cause of epilepsy. Medications are typically continued for 2-5 years and possibly can be tapered at that time if someone is seizure free.

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Response by:

David M Ficker, MD David M Ficker, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati