What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological health disorder that influences the brain by forming abnormal activities. It causes the problem of seizures, uncommon behaviour frequently, awareness loss, and sensations as well. This health condition doesn’t target one specific age group and can involve young people, adults, old, and children.
Epilepsy diagnosis is done when an individual experiences more than two episodes of seizures. Seizure is known as the unexpected rush of anomalous electric actions in the brain.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) research, epilepsy affects more than 50 million people all across the globe. When we talk about the most affected people by this problem then it usually involves young children and elders. On the other hand, men are the most targeted population and they tend to develop this problem faster than women.
Types of epilepsy and their symptoms
There is an epilepsy classification by healthcare providers that involves identifying the presence and absence of muscle activity. There are two primary epilepsy types and they are focal onset seizures and generalized onset seizures.
- Focal onset seizures:
It is a type known as the reflection of individuals experiencing seizures who are awake. In this type, an individual is very well aware during the seizure. It is also known as a simple partial seizure. The symptoms of this type are modifications in the senses, and changes in taste, smell, or sound.
An individual can also experience changes in emotions, and uncontrolled muscle jerking specifically in the arms and legs. One can also experience flashing lights, feeling dizzy, and a tingling sensation.
- Focal onset impaired awareness seizure:
In this kind of seizure, an individual goes confused or doesn’t have an awareness when they are experiencing the seizure. The most common symptoms are blank stare, and repetitive movements such as blinking, chewing motion, and finger or hand motions.
- Generalized onset seizures: This type of epilepsy distresses the huge range of cells on both sides of the brain simultaneously. Six types of generalized seizures are there:
- Absence seizures: It involves causing the issue of blank stare which means that an individual experiences awareness loss. The symptoms are no muscle movements, constant eye blinking, and motions like rubbing fingers, or lip smacking. It is quite common among children. It usually lasts for not more than 10 seconds and people sometimes consider it daydreaming as well.
- Atonic seizures: It is among the types of epilepsy that are known as “without tone”. In this type, an individual tends to lose control of their muscles and experience weakness during the seizure. The primary epilepsy symptom of this type is a drop attack.
- Tonic seizures: It is referred to as “with tone” and in this seizure type there is a huge increase in muscle tone. There is stiffness in the legs, back, and complete body causing the problem of falling during the seizure.
- Clonic seizures: This type of epilepsy seizure is known for its speed, repetitive intensity, stiffness, and muscle jerking. This kind of seizure occurs after the muscles keep jerking for a few seconds and last for around two minutes.
- Tonic-clonic seizures: It is the amalgamation of muscle stiffness, repetition, and muscle jerking that is rhythmic. The symptoms of this epilepsy include losing consciousness, falling to the ground, muscle stiffness, and jerking for around five minutes. Some people also tend to bite their tongue and begin drooling, losing control over the bladder.
- Myoclonic seizures: In this seizure type, an individual experiences a brief shock, muscle twitching, or jerking. An individual can face this kind of seizure in not more than 10 seconds.
In around 70% of the cases, the epilepsy causes are not known, however, there are known causes which include:
- Genetics: There are types of epilepsy diseases that keep running in the families according to research. It is also believed that there is proof that particular genes are involved and enhance the risk of epilepsy. So, for people experiencing the problem and specifically when the symptom of epilepsy in children is seen, it is important to consult a doctor at the earliest.
- Mesial temporal sclerosis: It is a kind of scar that produces in the inner part of the brain near the ear which leads to the problem of epilepsy diseases.
- Head wounds: It is an outcome of vehicular accidents that can hugely become one of the reasons for epilepsy problems.
- Brain infections: There are infections in the brain that at times people are not aware of. It includes meningitis, encephalitis, abscess, and neurocysticercosis.
- Growth disorders: Birth anomalies are also among the reasons of epilepsy disease that affect the function of the brain. It is more problematic for people whose seizures cannot be controlled even after the use of medications. There are birth anomalies like tuberous sclerosis, polymicrogyria, and cortical dysplasia.
- Immune disorders: Conditions causing the immune system to attack the brain cells becomes among other reasons for epilepsy disease.
The primary epilepsy symptom is recurrent seizures, although it depends on the type of seizure an individual is experiencing.
The symptoms of epilepsy are:
- An individual might experience a blank stare or stare into space.
- There are muscle movements that cannot be controlled, muscle tone loss, muscle jerking, etc.
- An individual may have confusion, thinking issues, and problems when talking and trying to understand something.
- Awareness loss and consciousness are other symptoms of epilepsy.
- Modifications when an individual is trying to hear, taste, smell, visualize, and numb feelings.
- Bad stomach, hot or cold waves, goosebumps.
- Psychological issues such as anxiety, déjà vu, fear, scared feeling, etc.
People with epilepsy disease usually go through a similar seizure type and have similar symptoms as well.
When to see a doctor?
You must visit a doctor when you observe the signs of epilepsy or think that you have had one recently. It doesn’t imply that you have epilepsy disease but it is important to be sure about the problem you experienced.
You must not delay calling an ambulance if:
- You have experienced a seizure for the first time.
- You are experiencing seizures more than often lasting up to five minutes.
- If you have observed the intensity of seizures in a row.
- You are experiencing breathing issues and have seriously bruised yourself.
If you think that you might have a seizure, firstly ensure to see a doctor at the earliest. Secondly, it is not always important that it is a sign of epilepsy disease, it can also reflect other health conditions. The doctor will assess your condition based on your clinical history and symptoms. They might order a neurological test so that they can evaluate your motor efficiencies and mental functionality.
The doctor also will ask you to get a complete blood count test done during epilepsy diagnosis. Blood tests are used to identify:
- Any infectious diseases sign
- The functionality of liver and kidney
- Comprehending the blood glucose levels
EEG or electroencephalogram is a test that helps in epilepsy diagnosis. The test is painless and non-invasive that includes electrodes placed on your scalp so that any abnormal activities or patterns are identified. The doctor also sometimes asks for some particular task to perform during the test.
There are cases when doctors perform the test even when they are asleep. With the help of imaging tests, it becomes easier to diagnose the issues like tumors and other anomalies causing seizures. These tests are:
- PET or positron emission tomography.
- MRI and CT scan.
Epilepsy treatment assists an individual with fewer seizures and prevents them entirely as well. The doctor plans the treatment based on:
- The seriousness of the symptoms
- Your overall health
- Your response to the therapy
There are epilepsy treatment options that involve:
- Anti-epileptic medications are recommended as they benefit in reducing the number of seizures. For some people, it eliminates the problem. Make sure to take the medication as recommended by your doctor.
- A Vagus nerve stimulator is a device recommended by the doctor. You are asked to place the device under your chest skin and it begins the stimulation running through your neck electrically. The device is beneficial in preventing epilepsy disease to a great extent.
- The ketogenic diet is another epilepsy treatment option recommended by the doctor. When symptoms of epilepsy in children are seen, then this treatment plan proves to be beneficial. It is for those children who aren’t responding to the treatment as it is a high and low-fat carbohydrate diet.
- Lastly, there is a treatment plan for brain surgery which is removed by the doctor when they identify that this is the right treatment for a patient.
Why choose CMRI for epilepsy treatment?
The Calcutta Medical Research Institute or CMRI is among the multi-specialty hospitals committing itself to fulfill the supreme care to its patients. We have incorporated highly-skilled and qualified neurologist doctors. They make sure that complications are prevented by giving words of encouragement to the patients for following the instructions after the pre-operative and post-operative procedures.
Our commitment is to offer remarkable services throughout your journey with us. Patient-focused and physician-directed are the two primary elements of our organization.
If you have been looking out for epilepsy treatment, then you should choose our neurologist specialists, and here is why:
- Finest patient-care approach
- State-of-the-art technology integrated
- We have 24*7 emergency services available
- Most competitive and transparent pricing offered
- We are NABH accredited hospital
How long do epilepsy seizures last?
The length of a seizure usually is from a few seconds to minutes but it entirely depends on the seizure type an individual is experiencing.
How would you identify the powerful element of seizure trigger?
The most triggered seizure behaviours are sleep deprivation, alcohol consumption, stress, and hormonal shifts linked to menstruation among women. However, the most powerful seizure factor is lack of sleep.
Can people with epilepsy experience other conditions?
Yes, people with epilepsy diseases usually suffer from other conditions such as anxiety, depression, migraine headaches, and epilepsy itself. It is also found that individuals suffering from epilepsy can suffer from the problems like disorders of mood, psychosis, and personality disorders.
Whom to seek when experiencing epilepsy symptoms?
You must seek the help of a neurologist specializing in upholding the functionalities of the brain and nervous system. They will assist you with epilepsy diagnosis and treatment.
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