my daughter has down syndrom and she ... - Epilepsy South Af...

Epilepsy South Africa

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my daughter has down syndrom and she is 16. She developed Epilepsy last year in August.

Mpasi profile image
10 Replies

I am told that Epilepsy is common to children with down syndrom. Why is this so. I would also like to know if unhappiness or fear of an individual can cause Epilepsy. I am saying this because my daughter has been a happy child all along but after she changed hostels at boarding school, she showed signs of not liking her new hostel mistress and the fits started round about then. Is it fair to think that fear of the hostel mistress drove her to epilepsy?

10 Replies
RRedRuby profile image

It is not uncommon for individuals with various disabilities to also acquire epilepsy. Seizures are very complex physiologically. There are different types of seizures that one can experience, depending on where the disturbance occurs in the brain. Furthermore, what triggers a seizure varies from person to person. It is possible that stress can cause a seizure, but I would recommend you talk with a neurologist who is best equipped to understand the type of seizure and identify potential triggers (with help from you and your daughter). There may be a relationship between the seizures and your daughter's experience at boarding school, but there also me be no correlation. There may be other issues that may require investigation to ensure your daughter's health and happiness.

Mpasi profile image
Mpasi in reply to RRedRuby

Thank you. I will keep investigating.

Kolla profile image

Many people have epilepsy in addition to other disabilities . I think I can state it as a fact that epilepsy is not contagious. It can be difficultly to find out what causes the seizures. Often people get a kind of a warning before the seizure, once you recognise the warning you can stop what you are doing and lay down.

My warnings are like the volume in the radio is turned down. All noise seems to be lower.

One of possible triggers for epileptic seizures is not enough sleep, tiredness, stress, uncertainty about what happens next.

I hope the reason for your daughters epilepsy can be found, it can take some time.

Mpasi profile image
Mpasi in reply to Kolla

I am so thankful for this. I will look out for possible signs. This is valuable information. I am thankful for this forum.

There are many causes of epilepsy, and a connection has been shown between children with Down syndrome and epilepsy. Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic abnormality that is characterized by the presence of an additional chromosome 21. Children with this disorder are faced with multiple organ abnormalities, including characteristic facial features, heart abnormalities, gastrointestinal problems and an increased risk of leukemia. The majority of individuals older than the age of 50 with Down syndrome may also have symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s disease or a decline in mental function.

Individuals with Down syndrome also have a higher rate of developing seizures in comparison to the general population. Although the reason for this has not been fully clarified, it is suspected that individuals with Down syndrome are susceptible to seizures due to abnormalities in the structure or function of the brain.

Epilepsy is a common feature of Down syndrome, and the prevalence of epilepsy advances with age.

Also remember changing boarding hostels is also a stressor as she needs to adjust to new rules and also friends and environment. I do agree please also look what are the seizure triggers for your daugther.

Mpasi profile image
Mpasi in reply to EpifriendSouthAfrica

Thank you so much.

wireyal profile image

My wife has a form of Ataxia, this has brought on Epilepsy which started when she was 12 years old. When she is stressed or anxious about anything this can bring on an epileptic fit.

I can clearly state that epilepsy is not catching. It is caused by abnormal electrical brain impulses.

Mpasi profile image
Mpasi in reply to wireyal

Thank you for this valuable information. I am learning everyday.

wireyal profile image

Epilepsy is currently defined as a tendency to have recurrent seizures (sometimes called fits). A seizure is caused by a sudden burst of excess electrical activity in the brain, causing a temporary disruption in the normal message passing between brain cells. This disruption results in the brain’s messages becoming halted or mixed up.

The brain is responsible for all the functions of your body, so what you experience during a seizure will depend on where in your brain the epileptic activity begins and how widely and rapidly it spreads. For this reason, there are many different types of seizure and each person will experience epilepsy in a way that is unique to them.

copied from Action for Epilepsy website. Lots more information Hope this helps

I have had epilepsy for 39 years. This also started at the age of 16, which I found was due to stress of exams at school and hormonal changes, i.e. puberty. Stress can be a big factor for the recurrence of seizures as I found and still find today. Changing hostels, not liking the hostel mistress, getting used to different rules and regulations and much more could be one of the major reasons. Please speak to your Neurologist further, find out more knowledge and feel free to befriend us further. We are here to give advice, support and love.

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