Friday, 10 February 2012

Seizure, Epileptic Drugs Not Working? 4 Places to Start Healing Your Brain

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From the traditional medical approach to seizures and epilepsy, the foundation of the approach is anti-epileptic drug therapy (AED). This foundation is added to by brain surgery or the use of a vagal nerve stimulator implanted in the chest. That's pretty much the armamentarium. And pretty much disappointing when you look at just how effective these approaches are. But they all leave one important thing out.

None of the standard traditional medical approaches actually do anything to heal the brain. Keep in mind that unhealthy brain cells (I call them "sick neurons") are where the problems with migraines and epilepsy start. Medications to control seizures merely suppress the communication between the sick neuron or groups of neurons and the neighboring cells. This is why very few epileptics are able to get off their meds even years or decades later--because the problem has not been fixed.

In only about 30% of the time does the first drug tried to control seizures actually work. When that first one doesn't work, another is tried. And another, and another. When single drugs do not work, combinations of drugs are used. However, the realm beyond the use of a single drug is mere guesswork and not "medical science." (Remember this when your neurologist says this is no research to support Coenzyme Q10 for seizures...).

Just in case you think that your neurologist is different and somehow has access to research not available elsewhere, consider that current research into whether the addition of two or more drugs is for refractory seizures (seizures that are not well controlled with medications) finds that only a single combination ( lamotrigine and valproate) was more effective than using only one drug. The use of three drugs was not effective.

So what are the alternatives? Clearly, when one drug is not effective, the likelihood of a second drug helping to control the seizures is very small. When faced with this situation, and hopefully long before, the addition of natural approaches to heal the brain are critical. The list is long, but you can begin with some easy steps.

1) The first is to begin to eliminate chemicals from your life. The brain is a very sensitive organ and the massive amount of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis does nothing to support good brain health.

a) Never buy anything without reading the label. Better yet, buy foods that don't need to come with a
b) Do not buy food items that contain ingredients you cannot pronounce without embarrassing yourself
in a crowd of chemistry students.
c) Switch your shopping away from the big commercial grocery stores to smaller, healthier farmer's
d) Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners like the plague.
e) Examine sources of chemical exposures in your life and reduce when possible. This includes
-plastic water bottles and food storage containers
-cosmetic and beauty products (to include hair dye)
-household cleaning products, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers
-all exposure to cigarette smoke
-old cushions or other compounds that are flame resistant
-mattresses made after July 2007
-airborne particles (use a room air cleaner).

2) Antioxidant supplements like vitamin C, vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols), CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid

3) Exercise is NOT an option; it is required for a healthy brain.

4) Consider an elmination or ketogenic diet

This list is only the short list of things that can be done to heal and protect your brain. As you can see, there is no shortage of changes that you can make. The limitation to ONLY use medication to treat seizures borders on malpractice. Every recommendation above is well founded on medical research (or should we say "at least" as well founded as medication usage).

Some of these changes are simple, some are much more intrusive into your current lifestyle. But let's face's your brain. Isn't it worth it?

Read more on the efficacy of AED combinations here

Dr. Bogash has a passion for understanding physiology, the medical research and how the combination of these two can lower the risk of disease or manage current chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis or heart disease. Visit to sign up for Dr. Bogash's Rantings, a biweekly email that summarizes the daily blog posts related to improving society's health.

Article Source:,_D.C.

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