Dravet syndrome is a severe inherited form of epilepsy, characterized by seizures that begin in the first year of life.
By recognizing and avoiding known triggers, it may be possible to reduce the frequency or severity of seizures and increase patients’ quality of life.
What is a seizure trigger?
A seizure may be triggered by many things, including a particular situation or substance that can bring on a seizure when a patient is exposed to it. Seizure triggers may vary among patients, and a patient may have more than one trigger.
It is important to note that a genetic mutation is the underlying cause of the disease, not a seizure trigger.
Common seizure triggers
While seizure triggers do vary from one patient to the other, some situations are common to several patients and may be a good place to start to identify seizure triggers.
Keeping a seizure diary may help identify seizure triggers. Various charities such as the Epilepsy Society, Epilepsy Action, or Epilepsy Foundation have free templates or applications available to download to help start patients keep a seizure diary.
Patients with Dravet syndrome are often sensitive to increases in temperature. Warm baths, fevers, warm weather, or exertion are common seizure triggers.
Not taking prescribed seizure medication, or taking them in a way other than what is recommended by the doctor, can also be a common seizure trigger.
Other common seizure triggers include:
- Lack of sleep, or excessive tiredness
- Low blood sugar
- Stimulants, such as caffeine, alcohol, or sugar-rich food and drinks
- Irregular meal patterns or a poor diet
In female patients, the frequency of seizures can increase with the start of their menstrual cycle.
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