Travoltas Faced Tough Calls in Jett's Treatment

Seizure meds are painful, often ineffective
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jan 5, 2009 7:23 AM CST

(Newser) – An autopsy later today may answer the questions surrounding Jett Travolta's untimely death, but the seizures he suffered remain largely shrouded in mystery. Epilepsy is a catch-all diagnosis for those who suffer seizures—which can be caused by infections, autism, head trauma, even medications, a neurologist tells USA Today. Treatment can be painful, and is ineffective a third of the time.

Seizure medications carry serious side effects, including liver damage and dizzy spells. Children comprise 30% of the 180,000 epilepsy cases that develop annually, leaving parents like the Travoltas to make difficult decisions about treatment. They also have to keep a constant eye on the child, since falling and drowning are the leading causes of death by seizure.