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Can Growth Spurts or Puberty Cause Seizures in Boys?
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Can Growth Spurts or Puberty Cause Seizures in Boys?

My son is 12 and since February has been having seizures that are progressively getting larger in size & nature.  He is unaware when he has them, but says he has a strange feeling afterwards that tells him he's had one.  He's had a CT scan (due to some falls) and they came back normal.  He had an MRI and it found nothing either.  We had a 4 hr. EEG and although he didn't have a seizure that was visible, spikes were detected.  That being the case we're both being admitted for a video-EEG this coming week for 4 days!  My son has these when asleep or awake.  He never knows when they're coming on & has injured himself already a few times from falls.  He does not lose conciousness, but does lose awareness.  After it's over (2-5 min), he slowly returns to business-as-usual.  I have researched & found nothing online that speaks about puberty & seizures in male-development, yet a teacher of his suggested that his body may be "freaking out" cuz he's grown nearly 6 inches in less than a year!  Can anyone tell me if you know a relation between growth-spurts & epilepsy?  Or puberty & epilepsy in boys?  We want to know what's going on and how to treat it successfully, as anti-seizure meds (valproic acid) isn't helping.  Please reply ASAP!
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
The best part of the diagnosis is nothing is detected in CT scan, MRI. That clearly shows that he does not have any major anomaly in the brain.
I have to tell you that puberty or growth spurts are not related to Epilepsy.
Some children have them with high fever and many causes are unknown.
They decrease by themselves and giving Valproic acid/Phenobarbitol depending on the diagnosis is the best way out.
Please visit a good neurologist and follow up on EEG.
Absence of any activity will not rule out seizures thou.
Take care of your son and let us know if you have any more queries!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for getting back to me about this.  We are checking in to Lucile Packard  at Stanford today for our 4day/3day getaway (a.k.a. Video EEG).  I pray that info will be shown to answer our questions & give us a direction.  

So far Valproic Acid is not working.  Also, his seizures are getting larger (but not necessarily longer).  Now he seems to be starting to hold his breath in between the initial seizure & what he calls his "after-shock".  (When I notice this, I usually give him a little tickle which gets him to inhale.)

I had one question regarding your comment: What did you mean by "Absence of any activity will not rrule out seizures thou?"  Thank you for your reply.

Azeem's Mom
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Avatar_f_tn
I just posted a comment of our outcome on the epilepsy forum section.  Take a look at what they found out...
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
"Absence of any activity will not rule out seizures thou?"

What i meant by this is EEG is not a conclusive test and even if you do not get anything positive in the EEG test, your child would still be possibly having seizures!

Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/940748

found out they were non-epileptic seizures...no meds will work, just therapy & stress-reduction.  i think kids (especially boys) as they begin to mature don't know how to express emotions as well as they did when they were little.  on the link above is another woman who had a similar experience with her son.  take a look...you may find this interesting being an MD.
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Avatar_n_tn
I found it interesting that he said epilepsy and puberty are not related when almost every pamphlet I picked up on epilepsy has says its still quite up in the air not proven but there are cases of seizures starting and stopping at the point of sexual maturity.  I had grand mals around 10 until I was about 17.  Not frequent but enough to get the idea of when they were coming.  I havn't had them since 17.  Never was taken to the hospital for them(please refrain on commenting on my parents parenting skill trust me I know I was there.)  The other day my 10 year old son said he had to sit because he felt funny.  Said his legs were rubbery and his lip was quivering.  I knew that feeling all to well.  It didn't turn into anything I made him sit with his head bbetween his knees and the feeling went away.  Happened a week later still nothing.  I will be taking him in soon  It wil be interesting though scary to see if he goes through what I went through. Only of course I will seek medical treatment for him.
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Avatar_f_tn
My son has had a similar experience. He had his first seizure at 13 after a big growth spurt. He's had 5 more and always related to a growth spurt. All his test came back normal. EEG, CT, MRI with contrast.  We haven't put him on medication, but his doctor did find a problem with his cortisol levels. Basically his cortisol drops in the evening, so it doesn't regulate his blood sugar properly and if he doesn't eat frequently, every 2-3 hours, he'll have a low blood sugar seizure.  I just wanted to let you know this becauser the doctor does think it is related to puberty and when his growth stops his cortisol should hopefully get back to normal.  One other thing, we also found that gluten is a trigger. The gluten combined with growth are the perfect storm that cause his seizures.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just wanted to add that my 11 year old daughter just had a stroke. She has no risk factors, eats healthier than most, and is a competitive swimmer. Her CTA of the head, neck, chest and abdomen showed no defects or anomaly that would cause a clot to form, and they aren;t even certain it was a clot. However, 2 weeks after the stroke, she noticed some signs that indicate she is leading up to her first menstrual cycle. I have to say that, even though she had a stroke that initially left her with no movement on her right side and the inability to speak, she has fully recovered. With no other cause detected, could it be the surge in hormones? It makes you wonder. . .
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Avatar_f_tn
homeschool_mom is correct. Growth spurts affect adrenal cortisol levels, and cortisol effects blood sugar regulation. This explanation makes sense. If the adrenals can't keep up with rapid growth, I would ask your child's doctor to consider a trial of hydrocortisone during these growing years, to prevent the symptoms and pathology of deficient cortisol. The child may have sufficient cortisol on a blood test, but does not have a dynamic hormone response during the growth spurts. To be on the safe side, a little extra boost of cortisol might be all that is needed.
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Avatar_f_tn
My boyfriend has puberty seziurs and i always know it's Gona happen be for it happens and my questions are ?, is my boyfriend Gona have puberty seziurs for the rest of his life? And does it effect sex?
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Avatar_n_tn
My grandson has been having what I call "episodes" like seizures.  Usually is sleeping and his Mom can't wake him.  One early morning she was so scared she called 911 and he didn't start to wake until he was in the ambulance and the paramedics were putting an IV line in and even then he was disoriented.  He's had a CT scan and EEGs but nothing showed up.  He too has had a growth spurt in two years time.  Will be 12 in July of this year and looks to be 14 or 15 yrs old.  Got to wonder about the cortisol thing.
  One thing that really scares us is that with the one he had just this afternoon left him with broken blood vessels under his eyes.
Julee Cormier
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Avatar_m_tn
hey guys jus want to tell that acoording to my dr seizure can be cause at the time of puberty.i had 2 seizure at the age of 14 one in school and the other in my uncles car.then 3 day past and i was sleeping when i wake up i had sperm all over my boxers i have had 4 years without getting another seizure.they did all the test the eeg i stood in the hospital for 4 days it was normal and the otheres where normal to. but they had put me on kepra.my question is can i get anothere seizure?can i suffere from epilepsy?i get very nerves because i think i can get anothereone.i also take people from been nerves (soloft).can it also be because of my puberty?
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Avatar_m_tn
My adopted son started having seizures when he reached 14 years old. They are small seizures also and the neurologist put him on 450mg of Trileptal. The doctor felt that puberty, hot dogs, tv, videos games all could contribute to the seizures. He may have a seizure once a month ( I believe males go through the once a month also) or if he eats hot dogs other than turkey and if he is on the computer for more than an hour or so. There are so many different things that can cause them so don't rule out puberty.  Make sure you keep a log book with the times he has seizures, what he did, the activity he was doing, etc. Hope that helps.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Rick,  I'm a experienced nurse.  My son's first early morning seizure was so frightening.  Taken to the hospital per ambulance - All test EEG - MRI - Blood work WNL.  He even saw a Pediatric Neurologist - He said to watch & see us in 6-months.  It is just about 2-yrs. when early this morning he was on the floor by his bed - body slightly ridged - scant amount of saliva - it didn't last very long.  He came around & as the last one made a comment that he was scared, as though he were in the middle of a REM-sleep with a nightmare. (He use to be a sleepwalker).  I did note several things which were the same as the one nearly 2yrs. ago.  He had been on Playstation-4 many hours & did some online homework on the computer, plus more hrs. simply watching U-Tube videos etc.  Also a growth-spurt, because I can tell by him increase in blemishes.  All of my Nsg. experience, has really turned me off to medications - Drs. seem to want to run to a cupboard & get a quick fix.  
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