EVALUATION OF THE CHILD WITH A FIRST SEIZURE WITHOUT FEVER

Now, let’s talk about the evaluation of a child who has had a first seizure without fever.If your child clearly has had a seizure, your first question, and indeed that of your physician, is “Why? What caused it?” While laboratory tests neither prove nor disprove that your child has had a seizure, they can, at times, be very helpful in searching for a cause and in predicting the likelihood of further seizures.Since a seizure is the result of a disturbance of normal brain function and since there can be many different types of disturbances, there are many different causes of seizures.One type of disturbance is acute, usually only temporary, and while capable of causing a single seizure (a single provoked seizure), rarely causes recurrent seizures. Since some of these—causes such as infection or trauma—could require urgent treatment, your physician will concentrate on them at the time of your child’s first seizure.Most first seizures without fever are of unknown cause.While not knowing a cause for the seizure is frustrating, the diagnosis of an idiopathic seizure (a seizure of unknown cause) is the best possible diagnosis for your child. A diagnosis of idiopathic seizure is an occasion for considerable optimism. It means that your doctor hasn’t found a serious cause. More than half of first seizures are idiopathic. Idiopathic seizures are likely to be completely controlled with medication and are likely to be outgrown. If there is a single such seizure, your child does not have epilepsy.*38\208\8*