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Controversies in Neurology
September 2005

Complementary and Alternative Therapy for Epilepsy: Much Less Than Meets the Eye

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.


E. S.RoachMD

Arch Neurol. 2005;62(9):1475-1476. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.9.1475

Proper treatment will cure a cold in seven days, but left to itself a cold will hang on for a week.

Henry G. Felsen

Alternative medicine includes an array of treatments that are often rooted in mysticism and united by their lack of rigorous scientific validation. Examples of alternative treatments include herbal therapy, acupuncture, therapeutic touch, aromatherapy, magnetic therapy, and biofeedback. Complementary medicine is the use of these alternative methods as an adjunct to standard medical treatments.1 As Scheller2 points out, one reason to study alternative and complementary therapies is that they are being actively promoted and our patients are already using them. And if 44% of the patients with epilepsy employ some form of alternative or complementary medicine,3 we need to know something about what they are doing.