Biofeedback is a therapeutic modality that requires substantial patient engagement and dedication. This method, which many neurologists are not familiar with, has been shown to improve quality of life in patients who have epilepsy.
Supplements and CBD
Over-the-counter supplements were also discussed. There are numerous supplements sold through countless vendors, and their composition and ingredients vary. Dr Collier pointed out the importance of making patients aware that supplements can interact with epilepsy medications, potentially diminishing the efficacy of AEDs or producing adverse effects.
The discussion of supplements often is intertwined with patient inquiries about cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Dr Collier emphasized that CBD oil is approved for only two conditions at this time—Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome—and has not been proven effective for other epilepsy types.
The bottom line
Patients who have epilepsy often seek CAM therapies, with or without the recommendations or explicit approval of their neurologists. Some lifestyle strategies can have a positive impact on seizure control for patients with epilepsy. Other CAM approaches may have no effect—or may even produce harmful effects. It is important for neurologists who treat patients with epilepsy to be aware of the non-pharmacological tools that can help achieve optimal seizure control and to become ready to discuss positive and negative aspects of CAM approaches.
Dr Collier has received personal compensation for consulting, serving on a scientific advisory board, speaking, or other activities with GW Pharmaceuticals, UCB Pharmaceuticals, LivaNova.