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Many people with epilepsy lead productive and outwardly normal lives. Medical and research advances in the past two decades have led to a better understanding of epilepsy and seizures than ever before. Advanced brain scans and other techniques allow greater accuracy in diagnosing epilepsy and determining when a patient may be helped by surgery. More than 20 different medications and a variety of surgical techniques are now available and provide good control of seizures for most people with epilepsy. Other treatment options include the ketogenic diet and the first implantable device, the vagus nerve stimulator. Research on the underlying causes of epilepsy, including identification of genes for some forms of epilepsy and febrile seizures, has led to a greatly improved understanding of epilepsy that may lead to more effective treatments or even new ways of preventing epilepsy in the future.
Where can I get more information?
For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute's Brain Resources and Information Network (BRAIN) at:
Information also is available from the following organizations:
Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)
Non-profit grassroots organization formed by parents and families to raise funds for epilepsy research.
National charitable organization dedicated to the welfare of people with epilepsy. Works for children and adults affected by seizures through education, advocacy, services, and research towards a cure. Offers a Legal Defense Program through a fund.
Non-profit organization that provides comprehensive social services and resources for people with epilepsy and their families.
Parents Against Childhood Epilepsy (PACE)
Non-profit research resource that provides information and support to families of children with epilepsy.
Family Caregiver Alliance/ National Center on
Supports and assists families and caregivers of adults with debilitating health conditions. Offers programs and consultation on caregiving issues at local, state, and national levels. Offers free publications and support online, including a national directory of publicly funded caregiver support programs.
National Council on Patient Information and Education
Coalition of nearly 150 organizations committed to safer, more effective medicine use through better communication. Additional website is www.bemedwise.org.
National Family Caregivers Association
Grassroots organization dedicated to supporting and improving the lives of America's family caregivers. Created to educate, support, empower, and advocate for the millions of Americans who care for their ill, aged, or disabled loved ones.
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
Federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. Committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.
International RadioSurgery Association
Proactive patient organization providing information and referrals on Gamma Knife, Linac, and particle beam radiosurgery for brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and neurological pain and movement disorders.
Charlie Foundation to Help Cure Pediatric Epilepsy
Non-profit organization that raises money for scientific research focusing on the ketogenic diet. Offers education programs and materials for families and dieticians.
Epilepsy Therapy Development Project
Nonprofit corporation that works to advance new treatments for people living with epilepsy. Supports innovative research in academia and industry. Provides information through the www.epilepsy.com website.
Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry
Registry designed to determine what therapies are associated with increased risk of harmful fetal effects. Participation is confidential.
Last Editorial Review: 3/10/2011
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