What is Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that causes unprovoked, recurrent seizures. A seizure is a sudden rush of electrical activity in the brain. There are two main types of seizures. Generalized seizures affect the whole brain. Focal, or partial seizures, affect just one part of Read more...
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What is Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that causes unprovoked, recurrent seizures. A seizure is a sudden rush of electrical activity in the brain. There are two main types of seizures. Generalized seizures affect the whole brain. Focal, or partial seizures, affect just one part of the brain. A mild seizure may be difficult to recognize. It can last a few seconds during which you lack awareness. Stronger seizures can cause spasms and uncontrollable muscle twitches and can last a few seconds to several minutes. During a stronger seizure, some people become confused or lose consciousness. Afterward, you may have no memory of it happening.
Epilepsy Vs Seizures
Seizures are the only symptom of epilepsy. Epilepsy is defined as having "two or more unprovoked seizures," according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Some people have a single seizure or seizures that are not linked to epilepsy. According to the United Kingdom's Epilepsy Society, nonepileptic seizures are not due to electrical activity in the brain. The causes can be physical, emotional, or psychological.
There are also different types of seizures. Seizures may vary between people with epilepsy, so in two individuals, the condition may look different. For this reason, it can be called a spectrum disorder.
Causes Of Epilepsy
For 6 out of 10 people with epilepsy, the cause can’t be determined. A variety of things can lead to seizures.
Possible causes include:
traumatic brain injury
scarring on the brain after a brain injury (post-traumatic epilepsy)
serious illness or very high fever
stroke, which is a leading cause of epilepsy in people over age 35
other vascular diseases
lack of oxygen to the brain
brain tumor or cyst
dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
maternal drug use, prenatal injury, brain malformation, or lack of oxygen at birth
infectious diseases such as AIDS and meningitis
genetic or developmental disorders or neurological diseases
Signs Of Epilepsy
Seizures are the main symptom of epilepsy. Symptoms differ from person to person and according to the type of seizure.
a convulsion with no temperature (no fever)
short spells of a blackout, or confused memory
intermittent fainting spells, during which bowel or bladder control is lost, which is frequently followed by extreme tiredness
for a short period, the person is unresponsive to instructions or questions
the person becomes stiff, suddenly, for no apparent reason
the person suddenly falls for no clear reason
sudden bouts of blinking without apparent stimuli
sudden bouts of chewing, without any apparent reason
for a short time, the person seems dazed and unable to communicate
repetitive movements that seem inappropriate
the person becomes fearful for no apparent reason; they may even panic or become angry
peculiar changes in senses, such as smell, touch, and sound
the arms, legs, or body jerk, in babies these will appear as a cluster of rapid jerking movements
Adverse Effects On Body
The impact on these areas of life will depend largely on the frequency and severity of seizures. Epilepsy can affect various aspects of a person's life, including:
emotions and behavior
social development and interaction
ability to study and work
Prevention Of Epilepsy
Here are some tips that may help reduce your risk of having an epilepsy seizure:
Get plenty of sleep each night — set a regular sleep schedule, and stick to it.
Learn stress management and relaxation techniques.
Avoid drugs and alcohol.
Take all of your medications as prescribed by your doctor. Buy prescription drugs online only from a reputed online pharmacy; otherwise, it can adversely affect your health.
Avoid bright, flashing lights and other visual stimuli.
Skip TV and computer time whenever possible.
Avoid playing video games.
Eat a healthy diet- try a ketogenic diet
Until more is known about the causes of epilepsy and how it can be prevented, your best bet to prevent seizures associated with epilepsy is to avoid the things that can trigger your seizures. This can make a measurable difference in the number of seizures you have.
Common Medications For Epilepsy
Common epilepsy medications include:
positron emission tomography (PET)
single-photon emission computerized tomography
MYTH: Epilepsy is a form of spiritual possession.
FACT: Although most people have long recognized that epilepsy is not a form of possession, some cultures still believe this. Epilepsy organizations are working hard to educate all people that epilepsy is a medical condition, a disorder of the brain that causes sufferers to have recurrent seizures.
MYTH: Epilepsy is contagious.
FACT: Epilepsy is not contagious and cannot be ‘caught’ by coming into contact with someone who has seizures, just as diabetes or high blood pressure are not contagious.
MYTH: You are born with epilepsy. The cause is genetic.
FACT: Anyone can develop epilepsy at any time. Some people are born with it, whereas others have their very first seizure in middle age. While genetics can play a factor, there are other more common causes of epilepsy, such as head trauma, brain tumor or lesion and stroke. In about 60-70% of the cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known.
MYTH: Epilepsy affects intelligence.
FACT: People with epilepsy on average have the same level of intelligence as those without epilepsy. Learning can be made more difficult if seizures are frequent, or if medication has very pronounced side effects, such as causing drowsiness and excessive fatigue. However, epilepsy typically does not cause lower intelligence. In fact, some very talented and brilliant people have epilepsy, including some pretty influential historical figures such as Sir Isaac Newton, Vincent Van Gogh, Ludwig van Beethoven, Agatha Christie, and Napoleon.
MYTH: People with epilepsy can’t work, excel at school, have children or lead normal lives.
FACT: You’ve probably guessed by now that having epilepsy doesn’t preclude someone from doing well at school, excelling in the workplace, having a family and leading a busy life. Epilepsy is a medical condition that can be managed and therefore people with epilepsy can often lead normal lives.