What is Epilepsy?

epilepsyEpilepsy is a physical condition that occurs when there is a sudden, brief change in how the brain works. When brain cells are not working properly, a person’s consciousness, movement, or actions may be altered for a short time. These physical changes are called epileptic seizures. Epilepsy is therefore sometimes called a seizure disorder. Epilepsy affects people in all nations and of all races.

CAUSES

Physical causes:

  • Trauma
  • Space occupying lesion
  • Stroke
  • Very raised blood pressure
  • Tuberous sclerosis

 

Metabolic causes:

  • Hypoglycemia (low sugar level)
  • Hyperglycemia (high sugar level)
  • Hypoxia low oxygen level)
  • Uremia
  • Hyponatraemia (low sodium level)
  • Hypernatraemia (high sodium level)
  • Hypocalcaemia
  • Liver diseases
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Drugs-phenothiazines,cocaine,benzodiazepines

 

Metabolic causes:

  • Encephalitis
  • Syphilis
  • Cysticercosis
  • HIV

Symptoms:

  • Eyes are generally open.
  • The person may not appear to be breathing. The person is often breathing deeply after an episode.
  • The return to consciousness is gradual and should occur within a few moments.
  • Loss of urine is common.
  • Often people will be confused briefly after a generalized seizure.

Risk Factor:

  • Your age
  • Your sex
  • Family history
  • Head injuries
  • Stroke and other vascular diseases
  • Brain infections
  • Prolonged seizures in childhood

Complication:

  • Falling
  • Drowning
  • Car accidents
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Emotional health issues

TREATMENTS:

  • Surgery:
    Surgery is most commonly done when tests show that your seizures originate in a small, well-defined area of your brain that doesn’t interfere with vital functions like speech, language or hearing. In these types of surgeries, your doctor removes the area of the brain that’s causing the seizures. If your seizures originate in a part of your brain that can’t be removed, your doctor may recommend a different sort of surgery in which surgeons make a series of cuts in your brain. These cuts are designed to prevent seizures from spreading to other parts of the brain. Other surgical approaches are reserved for specific types of epilepsy and are most often performed in young children. One approach is to remove a large part of one side of the brain (a hemispherectomy); another is to cut the nerve fibers connecting the two sides of the brain (a corpus colostomy).
  • Vagus nerve stimulation:
    This therapy involves a device called a vagus nerve stimulator that’s implanted underneath the skin of your chest like a heart pacemaker. Wires from the stimulator are wrapped around the vagus nerve in your neck. The battery-powered device delivers short bursts of electrical energy to the brain through the vagus nerve. It’s not clear how this inhibits seizures, but the device can reduce seizures by 20 to 40 percent and completely control seizures in about 5 percent of people.