Developmental Discovery Center is Raising Awareness about Epilepsy

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Dr. Drake D. Duane, a physician in Scottsdale, AZ and Medical Director of the Developmental Discovery Center is raising awareness about Epilepsy along with many other organizations across the country for National Epilepsy Awareness Month.

The Developmental Discovery Center is designed to be a resource for parents and children struggling with the challenges of learning, developmental, and behavioral disorders. The mission of the Developmental Discovery Center is to provide early identification and intervention for common conditions such as epilepsy, depression, anxiety, Autism Spectrum disorders, dyslexia, OCD, ODD, Tourette syndrome, AD(H)D, PANDAS, and many others.

How to Identify Epilepsy?

There is often a misconception about epilepsy and what we have seen on TV. Most of us assume that epilepsy consists of a person jerking and convulsing on the floor. This may be indicative of a seizure, but this is not the only indication for a seizure. According to the CDC Epilepsy affects more than 2 million people in the United States. Epilepsy is characterized by unprovoked seizures, literally causing an “electrical storm” in the brain.

The National Institute of Health explains that epilepsy is commonly misdiagnosed for other disorders 20-30% of the time. If epilepsy goes undiagnosed or untreated, the risk for additional seizures, disability, a decreased quality of life, and even death in some instances increases substantially. Those with epilepsy can go on to live successful, productive lives with a thorough and accurate diagnosis from a qualified medical professional accompanied with proper treatment.

Drake D. Duane, MD of the Developmental Discovery Center explains “Many patients come to us diagnosed with a developmental language delay, episodic depression, or episodic rage when in reality they have a form of a seizure disorder that is demonstrated by an electroencephalogram (EEG) explaining their symptoms. With an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment we are able to control these episodes, saving parents and family members from much frustration, costly therapy bills, school and work suspensions, and ultimately preventing placement in a long-term care facility.

Parents, friends, and family are in the best position to detect the characteristics associated with an epileptic disorder. An early, persistent and appropriate intervention is essential; a wait-and-see approach can be life threatening. See the classification below for further information on what symptoms to look for.

Epilepsy is either generalized or partial; partial epilepsy consists of two different types of seizures. Generalized epilepsy includes four sub-types of seizures.

I. Generalized
1. Tonic/Clonic (Grand Mal) Seizures: Cause a loss of consciousness in which the muscles contract in a prolonged fashion (tonic) or in short rhythmic contraction (clonic).
2. Absence (Petit Mal) Seizures: Typically occur in children and cause short interruptions in awareness. You may see the child starring off, gazing, and blinking repetitively. Some small jerks may also occur. Absence seizures are often undiagnosed as the child will quickly return to normal behavior and without anyone knowing that it has occurred.
3. Myoclonic Seizures: Are more common when waking up or falling asleep. These seizures consist of persistent, rapid, and short muscle twitches or jerks. There may be small movements or large spasms of the entire body.
4. Atonic Seizures: Are also known as “drop attacks.” These may occur after a short myoclonic seizure. The head or neck may drop but they can also be more generalized.

II. Partial
1. Complex Partial Seizures: Are most common in adults causing a loss of awareness in their surroundings accompanied by “automations.” Automations may be comprised of lip smacking, repetitive swallowing, or other random activity. The individual may feel confused or disoriented for several minutes.
2. Simple Partial Seizure: An individual may perceive distortions in the environment such as abnormal smells, have feelings of unreality or detachment, and jerking movements of the body may occur. The individual may also experience unexplained emotions such as fear and rage.

Are you concerned about a loved one? Take a free online assessment to determine the next steps. Visit our website for further information or call today to find out more (480) 860-1222.

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Drake D Duane MD
Developmental Discovery Center
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