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05.02.2015

Best alternative medicine for epilepsy, how to deal with herpes zoster - Test Out

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Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of central nervous system manifested by an abnormal and excessive discharge of a set of neurons of the brain, including cortical cells. An literature search of pubmed, Cochrane library, and epilepsy lit between years 2000 and 2010(present) using the words “alternative therapies in epilepsy”, “mind-body therapies for epilepsy”, “EEG biofeedback”, “acupuncture”, “fish-oil for epilepsy”, “epilepsy disorder”, “herbal medicines”, and “Chinese medicines treating epilepsy”. The author concludes, “GSR biofeedback has potential as a potent adjunctive nonpharmacological means of reducing seizure frequency in drug-resistant epilepsy” (Nagai et al., 2004). A Cochrane review of acupuncture in epilepsy by Cheuk et al., (2009) included eleven randomized controlled trials.
Kumar et al (2003) investigated the effects of Reiki on fifteen patients with refractory epilepsy (patients with persistent seizures, on 3 or more antiepileptic drugs in full dosage, and total compliance over a period of 3 years) that underwent 3 months of treatment with Reiki-like healing practices.
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is one of the causes of death in epilepsy (Tomson et al, 2005). Homeopathy medicine is an alternative medical system that was developed by Samuel Hahnemann in late 1700s in Germany. Cuprum, hyosciamus, agaricus muscaricus, stramonium, silicea, causticum, aethusa cynapium, artemesia absinthium and cicuta virosa are the most frequently used homeopathic remedies in epilepsy (Ricotti et al., 2006). Since ancient times, herbal remedies have been utilized in TCM for the treatment of epilepsy. A study conducted in Boston with 70 herbal medicines found that 20 % of these products contain potentially harmful levels of neurotoxic materials such as lead, mercury or arsenic that may cause seizures (Saper et al., 2004).
In United States, NCCAM recommended that anyone who wants to use an herbal supplement should consult a properly qualified medical professional in herbal medicine.
The objective of this article is to provide a synopsis of available literature regarding use of alternative therapies in the treatment of epilepsy.


Out of the 80 articles, 24 of them (including review articles, clinical trials, case series or reports) were analyzed to be used for this paper.
In epileptic patients, biofeedback is considered similar to the mental relaxation technique that is conducted on observations by modifying EEG components and training them to increase the mu or sensorimotor rhythm or low-frequency components (such as DC-shift or slow cortical potentials) (Kotchoubey, 2002 & Uhlmann, 2001).
The authors conducted a single blind, randomized controlled study on 18 patients with drug-refractory epilepsy for a total of 12 sessions during the 1 month treatment period, to measure the efficacy of GSR (Nagai et al., 2004). He proposed a simple principle that “like should be cured with like” and that’s how homeopathic medicines are prepared today. A case series conducted by Varshney (2007) on a homeopathic preparation of “Belladonna” in an uncontrolled study showed reduction in tonic-clonic seizures in 10 of 10 dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. Diet enriched with omega-3 fatty acids alleviates convulsion symptoms in epilepsy patients. Biofeedback treatment in patients with refractory epilepsy: changes in depression and control orientation.
Clinical management of idiopathic epilepsy in dogs with homeopathic Belladonna 200C: a case series.
Evidence based data on efficacy of CAM therapies in epilepsy and safety concerns on the use of alternative therapies are discussed. Per the National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) CAM is defined as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine” and is not generally taught at the western medical colleges (e.g. The CAM therapies described in this article are EEG biofeedback, acupuncture, yoga & meditation, Reiki, fish-oil supplementation, homeopathy and traditional herbal medicines. The authors suggested that studies using a larger sample size with appropriate standardized control groups are necessary to assess the efficacy of acupuncture in treating epilepsy.


This study was conducted with the basis of knowledge that considering autonomic dysfunction may play an important role in the underlying mechanism of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) (Sathyaprabha et al., 2008). The present study was conducted to assess the efficacy of such treatment protocols in epileptic patients. Due to the formulations used in this trial, EPA and DHA were raised while there was significant reduction in omega-6 FA arachidonic acid (AA) in RBCs and plasma; which could be the reason why there was no change in seizure activity during the rest of the 6-week period.
Patients already on AEDs can increase their risk of toxicity by consuming herbal medicine that also contains AEDs in it. Predicting herb-drug interaction is extremely difficult as the herbal formulas contain several herbs and it is generally harder to know which herbs are present and at what concentrations.
This article will highlight the findings of CAM therapies such as biofeedback, acupuncture, yoga and meditation, reiki, fish oil supplementation, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medications and explores what is known about the utilities of CAM in treating patients with epilepsy based on recent publications. It function is to acts as an intracellular buffer of calcium that is uniquely important in conferring protection to certain neurons in the hippocampus during epileptic seizure (Shen W et al). Thus the authors concluded that the data available is not reliable to support TCM as a treatment for epilepsy and suggested that high quality randomized clinical trials with larger sample size are needed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of herbal medicines for epilepsy (Li Q et al., 2009). Thus it was concluded that yoga might be used as an adjuvant therapy in management of autonomic dysfunction in patients with refractory epilepsy.



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