Epilepsy

Epilepsy: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. These are the reasons of epilepsy and the seizure.

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Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. It occurs when normal nerve cell activity in your brain is disrupted or interrupted, causing a wide variety of seizure-related symptoms.

Epilepsy Causes

About half of patients with epilepsy develop the disease without a specific underlying cause. In some cases, the risk of epileptic seizures increases;

Family History-Reasoned Epilepsy

Some types of epilepsy can occur in more than one family member, increasing the likelihood of a genetic component to these conditions.

Focal Caused Epilepsy

A stroke or brain tumor can cause epilepsy; in fact, stroke is the main cause of epilepsy for patients older than 35 years.

Brain Trauma Reasoned Epilepsy

Brain trauma during sports or in a car accident or for any other reason can cause epilepsy.

Viral Infections Caused Epilepsy

Certain viral infections, including meningitis, viral encephalitis, and AIDS, can lead to epilepsy.

Developmental Issues

People with autism, neurofibromatosis, and other developmental disorders are more likely to have epilepsy.

Fetal Brain Injury

Babies with brain damage during fetal development – ​​lack of oxygen, inadequate maternal nutrition, infection or trauma – predispose to epilepsy.

Epilepsy Symptoms

  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Loss of awareness or loss of consciousness
  • Temporary confusion or psychic symptoms

What Is Seizures in Epilepsy?

Neurons which send information to brain and body may increase in high levels. That is what causes seizures.

Seizure define itself generally with the movement of shaking. Sometimes the patient may fall and stand still. On the other hand, occasionally there is no way to understand when someone having a seizure.

There is different types of seizures. They can be distinguished by the seizure symptoms.

Types of Symptoms

Experts categorize seizures in two basic groups. These are:

  • Focal Seizure
  • Generalized Seizure

Focal Seizure

Focal seizures are a type of seizure that affects only one side of the brain. About 60% of persons with epilepsy suffer focal seizures, according to trusted sources.

  • focal aware seizures
  • focal impaired awareness seizure
  • focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures
  • gelastic and dacrystic seizures

Focal Aware Seizure

It is a type of seizure that patient do not use their conciousness. The main symptoms are generally numbness, unusual eye movements, hallucination, nausea and sweating.

Focal Impaired Awareness Seizure

This is the kind of focal awere seizure that patients lose their partial conciousness. The symptoms for this type are seizure are; inability to respond, screaming, crying or laughing, repeating some words or phrases.

Focal to Bilateral Tonic Clonic Seizure

focal to bilateral tonic clonic seizures When a focal impaired awareness seizure becomes generalized or spreads to both sides of the brain, focal to bilateral tonic clonic seizures happens. It was previously known as a secondary generalized seizure. Main symptoms are; falling down, crying, loss of conciousness.

Gelastic and Dacrystic Seizures

Hypothalamus is the base for this kinda seizures. Gelastic is kind of involuntary laughing convulsion and dacrystic is involuntary crying convulsion.

Types of Generalized Seizures

There is 7 different type of generalized seizures.

  • generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTC)
  • tonic seizures
  • clonic seizures
  • absence seizures
  • myoclonic seizures
  • atonic seizures
  • infantile or epileptic spasms

Generalized Tonic Clonic Seizures (GTC)

Also known as grand mal seizure, generalized tonic-clonic seizures differs from  focal to bilateral tonic clonic seizure by beginning in the both sides of the brain, not just one side.The main symptoms are; muscle stiffening loss of consciousness falling to the floor, groaning, crying, groaning, breath difficulties.

Tonic Seizure

This seizure’s only symptom is muscle stiffening. It may occur while asleep and the muscles may get affected are back arms and legs.

Clonic Seizure

Only muscle jerks or clonic movements are involved in these seizures.

Absence Seizure

Petit mal seizure is an another name for it and it is generally mistaken for daydreaming. It is typical to see it in children than adults or babies.

Myoclonic Seizure

It is the sudden muscle jerking on both side of body. It takes generally 1-2 seconds.

Atonic Seizure

An atonic seizure, also known as a drop attack, occurs when muscular tone is suddenly lost. Symptoms;

  • falling from standing position
  • sudden head dropping
  • inability to respond

Infantile or Epileptic Spasms

It consists of extandinf of arms, legs or head. It is generally seen on the children younger than 2. If the patient is an infant then it is called infantile spasm.

Epilepsy Treatment

Most people with epilepsy can be treated with epilepsy drugs called anti-epileptics. Medications are intended to stop seizures. Therefore, regular use of drugs is important. Although drug therapy is effective in the majority of patients, it may not provide the expected effect in some patients. In these patients, specific treatments can be applied to the underlying condition causing their epilepsy in order to control or manage it.

There are two types of epilepsy surgical methods. The first step is to remove the epileptic focus. (resective surgery).

The second is the surgical method (functional surgery, palliative surgery) that aims to reduce the spread, frequency and severity of seizures by cutting the ways of seizure spread.

In some patients, a treatment called a “vagus nerve stimulator” can be helpful. The battery placed under the chest can stimulate the vagus nerve, which can reduce seizures. Significant improvement can be achieved in patients with this treatment method.

Another treatment option is the ketogenic diet. The diet is based on the principle of eating a lot of fat to help control seizures.

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What is the main cause of seizure in epilepsy?

The uncommon movements of the electrical brain activity is the main cause of seizure in epilepsy.

Are epilepsy seizures life threatening?

Epilepsy affect a great deal of different ways in patients’ life. They cannot drive, it would be difficult to find a job, or without the treatment it will be a very difficult time for patients.

What is the most common treatment for epilepsy?

The most common way is treatment with the medications.

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