glossary - f
Febrile convulsions – convulsive seizures that can happen in young children (from about six months to six years of age) when they have a high temperature or fever. Febrile convulsions happen because very young children cannot control their body temperature very well. Although they can look like epileptic seizures they are not: they are caused by high temperatures not interrupted brain activity.
First line drugs – these are the AEDs that tend to be tried first when someone is starting medication for their epilepsy. These drugs are often used on their own (monotherapy).
Focal seizures – these are seizures that happen in, and affect, only part or one side of the brain (not both sides of the brain) and start from a 'focal point' in the brain. What happens in focal seizures varies depending on which part of the brain is affected and what that part of the brain normally does. Also known as 'partial seizures'.
Foetal anti-convulsant syndrome (FACS) – a condition that some children have when they have been affected by their mother’s AEDs when she was pregnant (before they were born). FACS can cause certain facial features (such as broad, flat noses) but these often become less obvious as the child gets older. FACS can also cause developmental or learning difficulties, and behaviour problems. Different AEDs can have different impacts.
Folic acid – a form of vitamin B9 which helps form healthy red blood cells, and helps with cell development and repair. Found naturally in some foods, but pregnant women, and those who want to start a family, need to take extra folic acid supplements (prescribed by their doctor) to help a developing baby's spine to form, and to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida (where parts of the spinal cord are exposed).
Frontal lobes – the area at the front of the brain, behind the forehead. The frontal lobes are responsible for voluntary movement (movement you decide you want to do, for example, walking and talking), conscious thought (for example, deciding you want a cup of tea), learning, speech and your personality.
Frontal lobe seizures – focal seizures that start in the frontal lobe. Simple focal seizures from the frontal lobe include making strange movements or stiffness or jerking in part of the body such as the arm. Complex focal seizures from this area include making strange postures with the arms or legs or making juddering movements.
Functional imaging – when scans are used to look at how the brain is working (how it functions).