Tool kit answers mental health and epilepsy questions for parents

August 12, 2013

Parents of children with epilepsy and mental health problems have a new go-to resource.

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic have created "What you should know about mental health in youth with epilepsy," an and CD that answers questions about children's medical and psychological issues.

About 2 million Americans, or roughly one percent of the population, have epilepsy, according to The Epilepsy Foundation. It also reports that , including depression, affect about 30 percent of children with epilepsy. Depression contributes to suicide, which is higher among adolescents with epilepsy than the general teen populations.

So many parents naturally wonder what can be done to help their children.

Drawing from their experiences with families and children with epilepsy, Jane Timmons-Mitchell, PhD, from the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, and Tatiana Falcone, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Epilepsy Center at Cleveland Clinic, created the guide.

The information includes sections on child development, epilepsy and mental health, treatment and interventions and medical resources.

Timmons-Mitchell, a , said that, as children go through different developmental stages, parents need information to understand the changes their children might experience.

The tool kit provides basic information, with links to reliable online resources about child development, medications for epilepsy and mood disorders, how to navigate a school system for support, and marshaling community resources.

Both researchers have helped families cope with the emotional impact epilepsy and the resulting seizures have on children, such as bullying for being different.

"It's particularly hard for the child who has an epileptic seizure in front of ," said Timmons-Mitchell, a senior research associate in the social work school.

Much of Timmons-Mitchell's research is focused on how bullying impacts disabled children. She hopes the guide will teach parents how to partner with schools to provide for the child's needs and prevent situations that could lead to bullying.

Explore further: Depression common among children with temporal lobe epilepsy

Related Stories

Depression common among children with temporal lobe epilepsy

May 23, 2013

A new study determined that children and adolescents with seizures involving the temporal lobe are likely to have clinically significant behavioral problems and psychiatric illness, especially depression. Findings published ...

Pediatric epilepsy impacts sleep for the child and parents

May 17, 2012

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston have determined that pediatric epilepsy significantly impacts sleep patterns for the child and parents. According to the study available in Epilepsia, ...

Epilepsy discrimination still rife

May 28, 2013

People with epilepsy continue to face high rates of stigma and discrimination, particularly in the workplace, according to Flinders University disability expert Dr Michelle Bellon.

Recommended for you

Rat brain atlas provides MR images for stereotaxic surgery

October 21, 2016

Boris Odintsov, senior research scientist at the Biomedical Imaging Center at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and Thomas Brozoski, research professor ...

ALS study reveals role of RNA-binding proteins

October 20, 2016

Although only 10 percent of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases are hereditary, a significant number of them are caused by mutations that affect proteins that bind RNA, a type of genetic material. University of California ...

Imaging technique maps serotonin activity in living brains

October 20, 2016

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that's partly responsible for feelings of happiness and for mood regulation in humans. This makes it a common target for antidepressants, which block serotonin from being reabsorbed by neurons ...

Overcoming egocentricity increases self-control

October 19, 2016

Neurobiological models of self-control usually focus on brain mechanisms involved in impulse control and emotion regulation. Recent research at the University of Zurich shows that the mechanism for overcoming egocentricity ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.