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Epilepsy and the Family

Epilepsy and the Family

A New Guide

Richard Lechtenberg, M.D.

ISBN 9780674009738

Publication date: 11/30/2002

Epilepsy and the Family: A New Guide updates Richard Lechtenberg’s classic handbook for people with seizure disorders and those closest to them. It offers coping strategies for the wide range of practical and emotional challenges that epilepsy can introduce into the family: marital and sexual difficulties, concerns about pregnancy and inheritance, drug compliance and abuse among teenagers, personality changes and suicide. This new guide addresses the personal questions that adults with epilepsy may be reluctant to ask their physician, and it offers chapters tailored to the special stresses of spouses, parents, and siblings who, like the patient, must live with a seizure disorder.

As many as two and a half million Americans have epilepsy. Thirty percent of them are children under the age of 18. And there are 125,000 newly diagnosed cases each year. A practicing neurologist with decades of clinical experience, Lechtenberg clearly and concisely explains the biology behind this complex and relatively widespread class of diseases. He discusses the various medical conditions that can cause seizures in children and adults and points out that the cause of many seizure disorders is never discovered. Patients and those who care about them will find authoritative but accessible advice on various medications and surgical approaches and the information they need to ask informed questions of their doctors. For the medical professional, this book offers important information on how to better treat the patient with epilepsy by recognizing the needs of the entire family.

This revised edition addresses:

— New drugs and surgical techniques that have been developed in the past 15 years
— Pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatment strategies
— New clinical data on drug combinations and side effects
— Up-to-date statistics for mortality, reproduction, violent behavior, divorce, and suicide


  • Although he does a stellar job of explaining what a seizure disorder is and how it is diagnosed and treated, Lechtenberg, a professor of neurology, goes one step further by exploring the impact it has on the entire family. Spouses might be interested in reading about marriage, childbearing and sexual activity. Children will find answers to their questions about living with an epileptic parent. Siblings will find pertinent information on personality changes, fear and resentment. All will find useful answers to personal questions they would probably hesitate to ask their physician.



  • Richard Lechtenberg, M.D., is a practicing neurologist and Clinical Professor of Neurology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Book Details

  • 272 pages
  • 4-9/16 x 7-7/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press