The accepted forms of treatment for epilepsy include:
medical treatment (anticonvulsant medication, anti-epileptic drugs)
More controversial possibilities include:
It is often asked if surgery will produce a cure for epilepsy. While the use of surgery to treat epilepsy has increased over the past decade, it is still only useful for a small proportion of people with epilepsy, mainly those with temporal lobe seizures. Even in this group of patients, surgery is only useful if the fits cannot be controlled by medication and if the fits are localised to one side of the brain.
There is little place for hypnosis in the management of epilepsy. The only exception is the patient who has a long warning (aura) prior to the seizure. If the aura lasts long enough, it is possible to teach the patient self-hypnosis and it is conceivable that the patient may be able to prevent the seizure. This is hardly ever the case, however.
Naturopaths feel that epilepsy is due to a deficiency of the B group of vitamins and possibly zinc. Some success is reported in absences (petit mal) but less so in other forms of epilepsy. Acupuncture
The role of acupuncture in the management of epilepsy is controversial. Acupuncturists see epilepsy as a liver problem because they feel the liver controls muscular rigidity. There is no good evidence that acupuncture helps people with epilepsy.
For patients with myoclonic epilepsy or infantile spasms who have failed to respond to medication, the use of a ketogenic diet may be of value. This diet, which is not very palatable, acts by increasing the blood concentration of a variety of acids in the body which, it is suggested, results in some chemical changes in the brain. This may reduce the tendency for brain cells to discharge and also prevent the spread of discharges within the brain. Most people who have been heavily involved in treating children with epilepsy will have had very occasional success with this form of treatment. However, taking into account all patients who have been treated with a ketogenic diet, the results have been disappointing.