Cause, Diagnosis And Treatment Of Seizures Affecting Toddler’s Speech
About 50-70% of cases of Epilepsy has unknown origin. Seizures may also affect The most common causes of seizures in toddlers that may change their speech are listed below-
- Trauma during birth including heavy bleeding, insufficient oxygen supply to the brain; head injury; incompatibility between mother’s blood and child’s blood; infection immediately after or before or at the time of birth.
- Alcoholism in pregnant mother.
- Brain abscess or inflammation in the membranes which covers the brain and the spinal cord.
- Phenylketonuria leading to mental retardation in newborns.
- Inheritance from family members.
- Infectious diseases like Diphtheria, measles and mumps.
- Carbon Monoxide poisoning, lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, or ingesting some poisonous substance.
Diagnosis of seizures in toddlers includes –
- Family medical history.
- Complete study of the seizure activity.
- Physical examinations.
- Neurological examinations.
- Seizure triggers are identified. The most common triggers are lesser sleep, flashing lights etc.
- Neuropsychological testing is done to uncover all problems related to learning and memory. Neuro-imaging is done to provides views of ares in the brain which are involved in the seizure activity.
- The electroencephalography (EEG) shows the most confirmatory results. The electrodes used in the EEG test are placed on or within the skull. These electrodes help in recording the electrical activity in the brain. The exact location can also be pinpointed.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be done to obtain detailed brain images. Functional MRI (fMRI) is performed to measure shifts occurring in the intensity of the electrical activities in the brain and the flow of the blood flow. This can also help in indicating the effect of activity on specific area in the brain.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission tomography (SPECT) are done to monitor the flow of blood and the detailed chemical activity in the areas of the brain. All metabolic changes occurring in the brain during the seizure would be located by these methods.
Treatment Of Seizures Changing Speech In Toddlers:
- The major goal for treating epilepsy is eliminating seizures; or at least making them less frequent and less severe. Long-term anticonvulsant drug therapy is the most common.
- Complex-partial seizures which originates in the temporal lobe have seen to change the speech in toddlers. The temporal lobe is the part of the brain which is associated with speech, hearing and smell. Surgery involving the speech centres can make your child to loose his speech functions permanently.
- Temporal Resections: A part of the temporal lobe is removed. The part of the brain which is associated with emotions, feelings and memory called as the hippocampus is also removed. This process provides good seizure control in about 75-80% of patients with appropriate types temporal lobe epilepsy. But post-operative speech and memory problems may be experienced.
- Extra-temporal Resection: Some or the whole of the frontal lobe is removed. Frontal lobe is present behind the forehead. The regulation of movement, individual personality, planning and judgement are done by this frontal lobe. But special care is needed to be taken to prevent undesirable conditions of movement and speech post-operation. In patients where the seizure is not widespread. this procedure is most effective.
- Usage of various Vagus Nerve Stimulation has now been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This VNS can be used in patients over 16 years of age with intractable partial seizures. A pace-maker like device is used to achieve intermittent stimulation to the vagus nerve. This is a non-surgical procedure, where the device is implanted under the skin of the chest in the upper left side. The vagus nerve affects speech, breathing and swallowing. It stretches from the side of the neck to the brain which may help in preventing and shortening the seizures.