Genetics

Epilepsy Blog Relay : Will My Children Have Epilepsy ?

 

This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from November 1 through November 30. Follow along and add comments to posts that inspire you!

Genetics

 

Many people around the world are wondering if Epilepsy is genetic.  Here we’re going to discuss this in detail.  It’s not uncommon for people to be curious about this during their child rearing years.  The last thing a potential parent wants to do is pass on their health issue to their offspring.  We’ll also discuss the likelihood of doing just that.  Understanding the facts goes a long way in helping to uncover the myths surrounding this condition.

Epilepsy can be passed down from generation to generation.  That doesn’t mean a person’s children are guaranteed to have it.  It simply means that their likelihood of having Epilepsy increases.  This is true if the father of the child has Epilepsy.  It should be noted that if the mother has Epilepsy, the likelihood of the child having Epilepsy is slightly higher. A woman should question the medicated she is taking, whether there is a chance of that effecting her baby. I have recently learned about Foetal Anti -Convulsant Syndrome. FACS occurs when an anti-convulsant drug, such as Epilim, is taken by a mother during pregnancy.  It crosses the placenta and through the developing fetus. But, once again, not all woman on these medications will have a child effected by FACS.

I don’t think Epilepsy should prevent  a couple from considering starting a family. But, everyone’s case is different and health professionals can give advice.  It should also be noted that a sibling is at higher risk of Epilepsy if their brother or sister has it.  With this said, the risk is still fairly low.  While it’s definitely higher than in the general population, the risk is minimal and shouldn’t stop anyone from considering expanding their family.

You should also note that Epilepsy is not contagious.   You can’t pass on Epilepsy through a hug or a cough.   No one should ever be concerned about contracting Epilepsy from someone else.  It simply isn’t possible and any concern is based on irrational thoughts.

Epilepsy can also be caused by brain trauma.  If this is the cause of Epilepsy, then it’s not genetic and therefore can’t be passed on.  This is a common form of Epilepsy. Any traumatic head injury can be the catalyst for Epilepsy.   Those who repeatedly have their head hit are at higher risk of developing Epilepsy. Head protection when riding a bike, or playing some sports is a must.

Never lose sight of the fact that Epilepsy and seizures can be treated.  While this is a serious condition, millions of people around the world live productive lives with it.  Always make sure to take your medication as prescribed.  A close relationship with your doctor is a must when having this condition.  It’s the best way to make sure that it’s under control.  You’ll also be able to bring up any concerns you may have in regards to passing it on to your children.

I have a 6 year old son and a four year old daughter. Being a Stay At Home Dad, I am responsible for them most of the time. We have now reached a stage where my son understands my Epilepsy and knows what steps to take if I have a complex partial seizure.

I developed my Epilepsy during Puberty. No one in my family has Epilepsy. All tests ( MRI & EEG ) I have ever had have never shown any reason for it, so I wonder why. We all wish for the best health for our family. I do think of my children developing Epilepsy. Lets hope for the best.

NEXT UP: Be sure to check out tomorrow’s post at  http://www.gotchababe2015.co.uk/ for more on Epilepsy Awareness. For the full schedule of bloggers visit livingwellwithepilepsy.com/epilepsy-blog-relay.

 

 

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Foetal Anti - Convulsant Syndrome

Foetal Anti – Convulsant Syndrome

 

 

What is that you may be thinking ..

FACS can occur when anti-convulant Medication is taken during pregnancy. The medication crosses the Placenta and through to the developing Fetus.

FACSs refers to 3 different syndromes. These are –

  • Foetal Valproate Syndrome
  • Foetal Carbamazepine Syndrome
  • Foetal Hydantoin Syndrome

FACS can be diagnosed by a specialist when a mother to be is taking Anti – Epilepsy Medication during pregnancy.

The of type of drugs to think about are –

  • Epilim
  • Tegretol – Carbamazepine
  • Dilantin  – Phenytoin

Some of the possibilities are

  • Spina Bifida
  • Visual Difficulties
  • Lower IQ
  • Small size at birth
  • Attention and Memory problems
  • Slow Development

I have seen many questions about Medication and Epilepsy. It was interesting to hear this information. I have always thought the possibilities of these type of problems due to Epilepsy were pretty small. As I said, not all woman taking this type of medication will be affected, but sounds like they are a possibility.

I have often though that it wasn’t anything to worry about. I did think about this sort of thing when becoming a father. I was glad we didn’t have any problems getting pregnant. We have 2 healthy children.

People can be on these drugs for types for Medical issues other than Epilepsy, such as Mental Health.

For more information , take a look at the following website – FACSNZ

Medication

No More Topiramate !!

Medication

Yes, that’s right, no more Topiramate.

Tomorrow is my last day of Topiramate. I’ll then just be taking Levetiracetam and Lamotrigine. I have been in the process of cutting down to 2 drugs since my visit to the Neurologist in mid July. Each month I took 25 less. I was at 50 mg twice a day.

So, will this make a difference ? Who knows. I haven’t really been the best lately. At the end of last week, I had turns 4 days in a row. But it’s all emotional. What I mean by that is that most of the time I know why my turn happened, what brought it on. If we look at the year so far, I was better in the first half.

Here is my number of turns month by month.

  • January – 3
  • February – 3
  • March – 4
  • April – 4
  • May – 6
  • June – 6
  • July – 4
  • August – 6
  • September – 4
  • October ….so far – 5

So, has the small increase got anything to do with medication ?  I don’t think so. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m still keen on seeing a Hypnotist. I did speak to one a while ago. He said they weren’t allowed to see the likes of myself, that they could be held accountable for anything that happens. There is a Hypnotist that advertising that she can relieve stress, confidence…. all types of emotional stuff. I’ll think I’ll give her a call sometime.

Let’s see if no Topriamate makes a difference. I’ve been on it for a very long time !!