Researchers are studying whether biofeedback -- a strategy in which individuals learn to control their own brain waves -- may be useful in controlling seizures. However, this type of treatment for epilepsy is controversial, and most studies have shown discouraging results.
Taking large doses of vitamins generally does not help a person's seizures and may even be harmful in some cases. But a good diet and some vitamin supplements, particularly folic acid, may help reduce some birth defects and medication-related nutritional deficiencies.
Use of non-vitamin supplements such as melatonin is controversial and can be risky. One study showed that melatonin may reduce seizures in some children, while another found that the risk of seizures increased measurably with melatonin.
Most non-vitamin supplements, such as those found in health food and other types of stores, are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so their true effects -- and their interactions with other drugs -- are largely unknown.
Doctors who treat epilepsy come from many different fields of medicine. They include:
- Pediatric neurologists
- Family physicians
Doctors who specialize in treating epilepsy are called epileptologists.
People who need specialized or intensive care may get epilepsy treatment at large medical centers and neurology clinics at hospitals or by neurologists in private practice. Many treatment centers are associated with university hospitals that perform research in addition to providing medical care.