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» Alternative Epilepsy Treatments

Alternative Epilepsy Treatments

So what can you do if you have tried every AED cocktail under the sun without success? Well, there are some options. This chart of non-prescription drug epilepsy treatment options lists treatments for which I could find evidence supporting some success in controlling seizures.

I tried to mainly list epilepsy treatments where medical/clinical studies have been published. You should research any epilepsy treatments you are considering thoroughly and discuss them with your doctor before trying them.

There is a description below the chart explaining what the columns mean and how the scoring works. You can click the links for each treatment on the chart for more information.

Epilepsy Treatments Chart

Alternative Epilepsy Treatments
Efficacy Adverse Cost Type Latency Average
EEG Neurofeedback 8.05 10 5 10 6 7.81
Neurobehavioral / Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 10.8 10 5 5 6 7.36
Temporal Lobectomy 9.4 5 8 10 3 7.08
Low Glycemic Index Diet 7.5 10 10 0 7 6.9
Gamma Knife 9.4 4 8 10 3 6.88
Aromatherapy 6.3 10 7 0 6 5.86
Modified Atkins Diet 6.3 8 8 0 6 5.66
Ketogenic Diet 5.3 7 8 0 7 5.46
Vitamins/Minerals 0 10 9 0 8 5.4
Piracetam (for myoclonus) 0 10 9 0 6 5
VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator) - Cyberonics 4 4 8 5 3 4.8
RNS (Responsive Neurostimulator System) - Neuropace 4 0 8 5 6 4.6
Intercept™ Epilepsy Control System - Medtronic 6.2 0 8 5 3 4.44
Marijuana 0 4 5 0 10 3.8
Glutamate / Aspartate Restricted Diet (G.A.R.D.) 0 0 10 0 8 3.6

Legend

When scoring the chart, larger numbers are more desirable/better. The columns (and scoring) for the chart mean:

Efficacy
Scores of the form x.y where x is the percentage (divided by 10) of patients that achieved 50% or greater reduction in seizures and y is the percentage (divided by 10) of patients that achieved 90% or greater reduction in seizures. Where either x or y could not be determined from published studies, zero was used.
Adverse
This is a subjective scoring of the treatment's potential adverse events. It takes into account both the likelyhood of the adverse events (risk) and severity of the events. 10 means no risk/adverse events and 0 means unknown.
Cost
Subjective scoring of the relative cost of the treatment. Surgical treatments were assumed on a basis where insurance covers most of the cost as they would be prohibitive for most individuals otherwise.
Type
10 = Permanent results from one time treatment (or limited number of treatments)
5 = Continuous, passive participation treatments
0 = Continuous, active participation treatments
The scores are meant to reflect the desirability of treatments based upon required effort.
Latency
A measure of how quickly the treatment becomes effective (in general).
10 = immediate
8 = days/weeks
6 = months
3 = years
Average
A simple average of the 5 scores.

You can click on the name of a given treatment for more details on its scoring. Comments on the chart? Please post them in this forum discussion.

This page last modified September 26, 2011.

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