People think that epilepsy is divine simply because they don’t have any idea what causes epilepsy. But I believe that someday we will understand what causes epilepsy, and at that moment, we will cease to believe that it’s divine. And so it is with everything in the universe
Epilepsy is a group of related disorders characterized by a tendency for recurrent seizures. There are different types of epilepsy and seizures. Epilepsy drugs are prescribed to control seizures, and rarely surgery is necessary if medications are ineffective.
Seizures can cause a range of symptoms, from momentarily starting blankly to loss of awareness and uncontrollable twitching. Some seizures can be milder than others, but even minor seizures can be dangerous if they occur during activities like swimming or driving.
Seizures can be divided into two main types: Focal (partial) seizures and generalized seizures.
Focal seizures can be further divided into two types: simple focal seizures and dyscognitive focal seizures. Simple focal seizures, also called simple partial seizures.
- Generalized onset seizures: These seizures affect both sides of the brain or groups of cells on both sides of the brain at the same time. This term was used before and still includes seizures types like tonic-clonic, absence, or atonic to name a few.
- Focal onset seizures: The term focal is used instead of partial to be more accurate when talking about where seizures begin. Focal seizures can start in one area or group of cells in one side of the brain.
Focal Onset Aware Seizures: When a person is awake and aware during a seizure, it’s called a focal aware seizure. This used to be called a simple partial seizure.
Focal Onset Impaired Awareness: When a person is confused or their awareness is affected in some way during a focal seizure, it’s called a focal impaired awareness seizure. This used to be called a complex partial seizure.
Unknown onset seizures: When the beginning of a seizure is not known, it’s now called an unknown onset seizure. A seizure could also be called an unknown onset if it’s not witnessed or seen by anyone, for example when seizures happen at night or in a person who lives alone.
- As more information is learned, an unknown onset seizure may later be diagnosed as a focal or generalized seizure.
Symptoms of epilepsy/seizures
- Generalized seizures: All areas of the brain (the cortex) are involved in a generalized seizure. Sometimes these are referred to as grand mal seizures.
- The person experiencing such a seizure may cry out or make some sound, stiffen for several seconds to a minute and then have rhythmic movements of the arms and legs. Often the rhythmic movements slow before stopping.
- Eyes are generally open.
- The person may appear to not be breathing and actually turn blue. This may be followed by a period of deep, noisy breathes.
- The return to consciousness is gradual and the person may be confused for quite some time — minutes to hours.
- Loss of urine is common.
- The person will frequently be confused after a generalized seizure.
- Partial or focal seizures: Only part of the brain is involved, so only part of the body is affected. Depending on the part of the brain having abnormal electrical activity, symptoms may vary.
- If the part of the brain controlling movement of the hand is involved, then only the hand may show rhythmic or jerky movements.
- If other areas of the brain are involved, symptoms might include strange sensations like a full feeling in the stomach or small repetitive movements such as picking at one’s clothes or smacking of the lips.
- Sometimes the person with a partial seizure appears dazed or confused. This may represent a complex partial seizure. The term complex is used by doctors to describe a person who is between being fully alert and unconscious.
- Absence or petit mal seizures: These are most common in childhood.
- Impairment of consciousness is present with the person often staring blankly.
- Repetitive blinking or other small movements may be present.
- Typically, these seizures are brief, lasting only seconds. Some people may have many of these in a day
Important precautions to be taken by epilepsy patients
- Always carry medical identification. If an emergency happens, knowledge of your seizure disorder can help the people around you keep you safe and provide the appropriate treatment.
- Make sure your family, friends, and co-workers know what to do if you have a seizure.
- Avoid potential dangers of high places or moving machinery at home, school, or work if you have active seizures.
- It is important for you to stay active, but you should choose your sports and other activities reasonably. If your seizures are well controlled, you can lead a normal life
- If you take anticonvulsant medication, do not suddenly stop taking it or change the dosage without consulting your doctor. The type of anticonvulsant medication you are prescribed depends on the type of epilepsy you have, and the dose is determined by your weight, age, gender, and other factors.
- Be alert to the risks of possible drug interactions between your anticonvulsant drugs and other medications you may take.
- Avoid alcohol, as it can interfere with the effectiveness of your medication and may lower the brain’s seizure threshold.
How doctors do diagnosis?
1. Neurologist consultation
➤ Medications according to type of seizures.
➤ Surgical if requires.