James W. Wheless, MD: The Consequences of Uncontrolled Epilepsy


The professor and chief of pediatric neurology at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center spoke about the concerns of uncontrolled epilepsy and how to determine if a patient requires more than one treatment for their epilepsy.

“The worst consequence, which is the one that is often not spoken, is the fact that you could die if you have a convulsive seizure. A lot of families are scared to death that they’re going to lose their loved one.”

When it comes to epilepsy, the most obvious symptom is the occurrence of seizures in these patients. Although, even with that knowledge, many patients go undiagnosed due to the various forms which seizures can take outside of the more widely thought convulsive seizures. Additionally, many patients struggle on antiepileptic drugs, and the consequences of not controlling this condition can be deadly.

For Janes W. Wheless, MD, professor and chief, pediatric neurology, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, there is no greater goal than seizure freedom for these patients and, ideally, to do so with only a single therapy. This leads to better tolerance, better adherence, and less worry. Although, as this isn’t always the case, Wheless shared his insight with NeurologyLive® into how he goes about determining if a patient requires additional medications and which factors can impact that.

Additionally, at the 2019 International Epilepsy Congress, June 22-26, in Bangkok, Thailand, Wheless spoke about the non-pharmacologic therapeutic methods—such as epilepsy surgery, device therapy, and dietary therapy—which can be used on top of their medications in order to control these treatments.

For more coverage of IEC 2019, click here.

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