Epilepsy is a Brain disorder that is characterized by unprovoked Seizures or Convulsions. It is not curable in most cases but a person can have a normal life while they have Epilepsy. All ages are affected and both males and females are affected by Epilepsy.
There is no known cause of epilepsy but there are some factors which can lead to development of epilepsy which will be mentioned here. There are different types of Epilepsy depending on the part of the brain that is affected by a seizure. It cannot be treated but there are some things you can do at home when someone is having a Seizure attack and there are some medications given in the Hospital to control seizures.
A Seizure is an unregulated electrical discharge in the brain which leads to abnormal movements or sensations in the body with or without impairment of awareness. A fit on the other hand refers to the Jerking movements that a person has when they are having a Seizure. Different parts of the brain produce different signs and symptoms, for example; if the right side of the brain is affected then the left part of the body will have the jerking movements. If the whole Brain is affected then the person will have jerking movements all over the body with impairment of awareness.
Types of Seizures
Seizures are generally classified based on the part of the Brain that is affected. This is according to the 2017 International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE):
- Focal (Partial) Seizures: here one side of the Brain affected, it is then further subdivided into;Focal seizures with Impaired awareness and Focal seizures without impaired awareness
- Generalised seizures: In this type the whole Brain is affected and there is always impaired awareness. They are subdivided into:
- Absence Seizures
- Tonic-clonic Seizures
- Atonic Seizures
- Myoclonic Seizures
Symptoms of Seizures
The symptoms depend on the part of the Brain that is affected: for example if the part that controls the right arm in the case of focal Seizures is affected, then the right arm will have jerking movements. Some patients have Aura, which are weird sensations that are experienced few minutes before a Seizure attack. They may include very strong smell, feeling dizzy and sometimes De Javu.
In the case of Generalised seizures, the person will have Loss of Consciousness, bite tongue, pee on themselves and will fall to the ground. In Absence Seizures, there is a brief loss of awareness without any fall to the ground. The person will just stare at you when you call them without any response for a few seconds but then resume the activity and are unaware they had a fit.
Once Seizures subside the person will have a post Ictal state, which is a period after a Seizure where the person will have confusion and headache. It can last a few minutes to an hour.
Causes of Seizures
Epilepsy itself does not have a cause, but before a diagnosis is made, efforts to exclude known causes of seizures are made.
Some causes of Convulsions or Seizures include:
- Lack of sleep
- Alcohol binge or Abuse
- Electrolyte disturbances e.g. Low Blood Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium , or Phosphates
- Low blood Sugar
- Infections of the brain like e.g. Brain Abscess, Meningitis or Encephalitis
- Head injury
- Brain Tumors
- High temperature like in heat stroke or Fever
Treatment of Epilepsy
There are many Medications which are used to treat Epilepsy. Different countries use different combinations for many reasons which include the cost of the medication and the side effects of the medication. The most important thing is to know what you can do at home or in Public spaces when you see someone with a Seizure attack.
It is important for a person with Epilepsy to avoid any dangerous activities like driving, swimming or operating dangerous machines until they do not have Seizures for at least 6 Months. They should have a Necklace or Bracelet that has important contact details and which will indicate that they are Epileptic. This helps in the case where they are unconscious and a relative has to be called.
3 thoughts on “Epilepsy”
I agree with you 100%.
Thanks for the Important addition there.
To do at home well explained.Some people make the fitted person to smell shoes,chappal
This should also not be done.
And always consult your doctor for the same.Do not go to any tantrik and quacks …….
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