advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Natural Treatment for Seizures?

My niece suffers with clonic seizure disorder. Recently she suffered two grand mal seizures back-to-back. She takes 1,500 mg of an anti-convulsant drug (Keppra) per day. What foods or supplements can she take to help her brain recover from the memory loss she suffers following the seizures?

A
Answer (Published 6/8/2009)

The term clonic seizure disorder (or tonic-clonic seizure disorder) indicates grand mal seizures, which involve the whole body. These seizures, usually due to epilepsy, are characterized by muscle rigidity, violent muscle contractions and loss of consciousness. The cause is abnormal electrical discharges in the brain.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor - If you are interested in supplementing your diet but don't know where to start, take Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor. It is free, and provides a personalized vitamin & supplement recommendation based on your health history. Visit today!

I discussed your question with Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative medicine, dietary supplements and women's health. Dr. Low Dog said she would be concerned with how often your niece is having seizures while on medication and noted that epilepsy patients need to make sure they get adequate sleep, eat regularly, avoid alcohol and limit caffeine. Since many of the drugs given to prevent seizures can exacerbate nutritional deficiencies, Dr. Low Dog suggested that your niece (or her parents) discuss with her physician the use of a multiple vitamin that contains folate, vitamin B6, magnesium and vitamin D.

She also said that omega-3 fatty acids have beneficial effects on the nervous system, citing one small study from England that suggests omega-3 supplements might help reduce the frequency of seizures. The study was published in the September, 2005, issue of Epilepsy Behavior.

In addition, some research indicates that bacopa leaf (Bacopamonnieri), an herb native to India, may be helpful. Bacopa leaf has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine to enhance memory, learning, and concentration, and as a treatment for epilepsy. Dr. Low Dog noted while that there has not been much investigation on this last application of bacopa, animal models of epilepsy show that it can protect the brain. One study found that it improved cognition without decreasing the anticonvulsant activity of the drug phenytoin (Dilantin), in animals. The dose for bacopa is generally 200-400 mg per day in two or three divided doses of an extract standardized to 20% bacosides, A & B. Dr. Low Dog said that to her knowledge there are no known interactions with any of the anticonvulsant medications used to treat epilepsy.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here