Perhaps you would have seen seizure or abnormal behavior of someone at some time, and they’re just out of control. Today, we’ll discuss what is epilepsy; its symptoms, causes, complications, risk factors, and treatment.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder in which the brain (central nervous system) becomes abnormal and results in the form of unawareness, unusual sensation & behavior, and seizure. Epilepsy could impact both men and women at any time regardless of their ages, ethnic background, or race.
Seizure is a common symptom of epilepsy. Some people twitch their legs and arms repetitively, and others keep on staring for a few seconds during the episode of seizure. However, one seizure doesn’t imply epilepsy; the diagnosis requirement of epilepsy is two unprovoked seizures within 24 hours.
Surgery and medication could help a majority of people control the seizure of epilepsy. It’s necessary for some people to have a lifelong treatment in order to control seizures, and they go away with the passage. Epilepsy may increase among children with age.
According to an estimate, this neurological disorder impacts 65 million people across the globe and it impacts approximately 3 million people in the USA. It’s common among older adults and young kids, and it affects men slightly more than women. You can’t cure epilepsy, but you can manage the disorder with surgery, medication, and other strategies.
Symptoms of Epilepsy
It happens due to the abnormal activity of your brain, and the seizure impacts how your brain coordinates in any type of process. Some of the main symptoms of seizure are as follows;
- Psychological symptoms like déjà vu, anxiety, stress, or fear
- Losing awareness or consciousness
- Uncontrollable body movement or jerking of the legs or arms
- Hard muscles
- Confused temporarily
There are two types of seizures and they’re as follows;
Focal seizure is when abnormal activity appears in just one area of the brain. There are two subtypes of focal seizures;
Focal Seizure without Losing Consciousness
Here the seizure doesn’t result in the form of losing consciousness, and it also goes by the name of partial seizure. They change the way things sound, taste, feel, smell, look, and your emotions, and even experience déjà vu. It may result in the form of symptoms like flashing lights, dizziness, tingling, and uncontrollable movement of your body parts like legs and arms.
Focal Seizure with Impaired Awareness
It also goes by the name of complicated partial seizure, and the seizure here comprises of losing awareness or consciousness. The seizure here is like a dream state. You won’t normally respond to the environment, keep on staring, and the repetitive movement of your body like circular walking, swallowing, chewing, or rubbing hands.
People usually mix up the symptoms of focal seizure with a neurological disorder like mental illness, narcolepsy, or migraine. The doctor would conduct a thorough examination in order to diagnose epilepsy and differentiate it from other types of mental disorders.
The seizure appears in almost all areas of the brain in generalized seizures. Its main six subtypes are as follows;
Absence seizure also goes by the name of petit mal seizures in the past and it is usually common among kids. It results in the form of staring without making anybody jerk but making slight movements like smacking lips or eye blinking lasting for 5 to 10 seconds. Such types of seizures would occur 100 times a day and cause a person to lose consciousness and awareness briefly.
The tonic seizure would impact your consciousness and make your muscles stiff. It affects your legs, arms, and back muscles and makes you fall on the ground.
It also goes by the name of drop seizure and results in the form of losing control over your muscles. Often, it impacts the legs and causes you to fall down suddenly.
Clonic seizure has an association with rhythmic or repetitive muscular movement or jerking. The seizure here impacts your arms, face, and neck.
Myoclonic seizure impacts your legs, arms, and upper body, and it exhibits sudden twitch or brief jerks.
The tonic-clonic seizure also goes by the name of grand mal seizure, and it’s the most dramatic form of an epileptic seizure. It results in the form of losing consciousness suddenly, shaking, twitching, and body stiffening. Sometimes, it can make you bite your tongue or uncontrollable bladder.
Causes of Epilepsy
There are no exact and identifiable causes of epilepsy among most people, roundabout half to be more precise. Its causes in the other half of people are as follows;
Some type of seizure, or epilepsy that impacts the part of the brain, has genetic influences and it runs in the family. Researchers have attached epilepsy with a certain type of genes, but some genes in some people are sensitive to the environment and could cause a seizure. Genes are only a part of epilepsy.
Head trauma caused by a head injury or a car accident would result in the form of epilepsy.
Brain abnormalities comprise cavernous malformations, AVMs (arteriovenous malformation), vascular malformation, or brain tumors that could cause epilepsy. The brain stroke is the main cause of epilepsy in adults aged above 35.
Parasitic infections, viral encephalitis, HIV, and Meningitis could cause it.
Some kids are sensitive to brain damages before birth due to various factors like oxygen deficiencies, poor nutrition, or infection in the mother. It results in the form of cerebral palsy or epilepsy.
Autism and other developmental disorders could cause it.
There are some factors that could amplify the risk of getting epilepsy are as follows;
The epileptic condition could happen to anyone at any age, but it’s usually common among older adults and children.
If a person has an epileptic condition in the family, then it increases the probability of getting seizure disorder.
A head injury could cause the epileptic condition, and you can lower the risk by putting on a helmet or fastening the seat belt in order to avoid the head injury.
Stroke & Vascular Disease
Stroke and vascular disease could damage your brain, and trigger epileptic disorder. You can lower the risk by taking steps like exercising regularly, healthy diet, consuming fewer cigarettes and alcohol.
Dementia could amplify the riskiness of getting epileptic condition among older adults
Infections like meningitis could cause inflammation in your spinal cord or brain, and amplify the risk of getting the epileptic disorder.
High temperature and fever among children have links with seizures, and such children don’t develop the epileptic condition. But the risk becomes higher if there is epileptic family history, nervous system condition, or long fever association.
Treatment of Epilepsy
The treatment plan of the epileptic disorder depends on the person’s health and severity of symptoms. Some of the main treatment plans are as follows;
The operation comprises of changing and removing the part of the brain that causes it.
Keto diet is highly effective among those people that don’t respond to the medicines, and diet consists of low carbohydrates and high fats
Vagus Nerve Stimulator
It’s a device that the doctor surgically puts under the chest skin, and the device stimulates the nerve electrically that goes through the neck. It lowers seizures
Anti-seizure and anticonvulsants lower seizure attacks. In fact, it permanently finishes it among some people. Patients should take the exact same medicine whatever quantity the doctor prescribes it.
Conclusion: What is Epilepsy? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
After an in-depth study of what is epilepsy; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we’ve realized that epileptic seizure is a lifelong serious disorder. If you experience its symptoms, then refer that person to the nearest doctor.
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