Norton Children’s provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to treating epilepsy and seizures in infants, children and teens. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained team of neurologists and neurosurgeons use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to understand your child’s seizures and epilepsy type. Our epilepsy specialists use their skill and experience to create customized treatment plans that minimize side effects, so your child can get back to being a kid.
The Norton Children’s Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is a Level 4 epilepsy center, the highest rating available from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Norton Children’s Hospital has held this designation since 2013.
Diagnosing and treating epilepsy
Children can experience many different types of seizures and epilepsy conditions/syndromes. Epilepsy can begin to appear at different ages, as young as infancy.
When your child experiences a seizure for the first time, it can be frightening. Our New Onset Seizure Clinic can help discover what may have caused the seizure and begin treatment that’s tailored to your child.
Some epilepsy conditions are easily treated and managed by medicines and others may be severe and require surgery. Our physicians can work with you and your child to develop a treatment plan that can lead to your child becoming seizure-free.
Types of epilepsy we treat
- Absence epilepsy: This type causes repeated seizures with brief lapses of consciousness. It usually begins in childhood or early teen years. These seizures cause undesired movement, such as rapid eye blinking or an arm moving wildly. Children also can have no symptoms other than feeling “out of it.” Seizures usually occur frequently and may make it difficult for a child to concentrate in school.
- Benign focal childhood epilepsy: This type causes the muscles to stiffen and jerk. These seizures usually occur at night.
- Childhood and juvenile absence epilepsy: This type of epilepsy can cause a blank stare, eye fluttering and slight muscle jerks.
- Infantile spasms (West syndrome): This type causes muscle spasms that affect a child’s head, torso and limbs. It affects infants, usually appearing before the age of 6 months.
- Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy: This type causes jerking in the shoulders or arms.
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: This type of epilepsy causes frequent seizures of different kinds, including atonic seizures. It can lead to sudden falls, called drop attacks, during a seizure.
- Neocortical epilepsy: Seizures from this type of epilepsy start from the brain’s outer layer (cortex). They can be either focal or generalized. Focal seizures can cause an aura or a feeling that a seizure may happen. They may include strange sensations, visual hallucinations, emotional changes, muscle spasms, convulsions and a variety of other symptoms.
- Rasmussen’s encephalitis: This autoimmune disorder causes inflammation in the brain. The inflammation is caused by white blood cells attacking the body’s tissues and cells. This condition can cause seizures that begin in early childhood.
- Refractory epilepsy: This type, also called intractable epilepsy, is when seizures cannot be controlled by two or more medications.
- Temporal lobe epilepsy: This is the most common type of epilepsy. Children with this type experience focal (partial) seizures.
Collaboration with UofL Physicians for your child’s care
We work with providers from UofL Physicians to provide highly skilled care for your child. Norton Children’s Hospital serves as the primary pediatric teaching facility for the University of Louisville School of Medicine. These doctors are professors and active researchers helping to advance medical care through clinical research and education.
The Norton Children’s difference
The care your child needs is close to home at Norton Children’s. With a 125-year presence in Louisville, Norton Children’s is a leader in pediatric care across Kentucky and Southern Indiana, providing an expanded footprint that includes:
- Norton Children’s Hospital– The region’s only full-service, free-standing pediatric hospital and Louisville’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center. Norton Children’s Hospital also has one of the largest Level IV (highest level) neonatal intensive care units in the country.
- Numerous regional outpatient centers and extensive pediatrician and pediatric specialist offices throughout the area.
- Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital– The only women’s hospital in Louisville, providing care dedicated to the needs of women and children.
- Norton Children’s Medical Center– A unique regional outpatient facility designed “Just for Kids,” bringing pediatric care to northeastern Jefferson County and the surrounding area.
Norton Children’s offers specialized programs and services, including:
- Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, which is one of the oldest oncology programs continuously accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer.
- Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. Norton Children’s heart transplant surgeons performed Kentucky’s first heart transplant in a newborn in 1986, making the hospital the second site in the United States for infant transplants. Norton Children’s Hospital will be home to the Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (expected completion in 2019).
- Pediatric neurology and neurosurgery, including a Level 4 epilepsy center
- Orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation
- The Wendy Novak Diabetes Center
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