Stephanie Conklin is an active mother of two, but for years, she was concerned her epileptic seizures would get in the way of becoming a mom.
She explains, "it was a challenge. It was lots of side effects from the medicine. Made you very nasty.
Stephanie suffered seizures since having a brain tumor removed as a child. She tried all kinds of medications, but nothing worked. The seizures interfered with every part of her life, including the birth of her daughter. She two grand mal seizures while she was pregnant, so they took the baby early
A new report from the Institute of Medicine shows there are effective ways to treat epilepsy, but many patients don't have access to the care they need.
At Hackensack University Medical Center, Dr. Arno Fried says, "less than half of the people who are eligible and good candidates for some of these sophisticated treatments get them." Medicine helps most patients, but others need specialized treatments or surgery
Doctors determined that Stephanie needed a series of brain surgeries. They surgically attached electrodes to her brain to pinpoint where the problem was. Dr Fried says, "we had a very detailed map so i could go back in and surgically remove the area causing the seizures
Stephanie has had just one seizure in four years. She gave birth to her son without complications. With some medication, say she should be able to enjoy her children without worrying about seizures.
Roughly 80 to 85 percent of epilepsy patients can control their seizures with medicine alone.