Doctors Suggest Children With Epilepsy Should Take Vitamin D

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A recent review article by the doctors at Leicaster Royal Infirmary’s Department of Paediatric Neurology in the UK connects possible bone health problems in children and young adults with epilepsy. These bone health issues could put the children at higher risk for broken bones than children their age without epilepsy. The report suggests the risk for broken bones could be as much as three times as likely for epileptic youngsters. To help improve bone health, doctors suggest children with epilepsy should take vitamin D.

Previous research has shown that epilepsy can affect bone health in younger age groups, but doctors were surprised by just how extensive the issue can be. Some anti-epileptic medicines also affect bone metabolism, the process through which old bone tissue is replaced which is important for healing fractures or other damage.

The medicines also affect bone density, causing a person’s bones to contain less minerals than they should and become brittle and easily broken. However, as Epilepsy.org.uk reported, previous literature has argued that epileptic children are not at an increased risk of broken bones.

The new review, published in The Journal of Paediatric Neurosciences, argues these statements are incorrect, as previous research used small sample sizes and failed to take into account other factors that could affect bone health in epileptic children, such as how mobile the child is and their diet. The review argues that further research is badly needed, but in the absence of reliable scientific evidence, young people with epilepsy should be prescribed a low-dose vitamin D supplement, which could lower the possible risk of fractures.

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