Epilepsy, a common neurological disease, is a chronic disorder that causes repetitive seizures.
A seizure is a sudden rush of electrical activity in the brain.
There are two types of seizures; generalized seizures and focal seizures.
Generalized seizures affect the whole brain while focal seizures affect just one part of the brain.
Epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in the brain. Sign and symptoms include:
- Temporary confusion
- A staring spell or gaze
- Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
- Loss of consciousness
- Psychic symptoms such as fear and anxiety.
The risk of having epilepsy may be increased by certain factors, namely:
- Family history: A person can develop a seizure disorder when any family member has epilepsy.
- Age: Evidently, the disease is more common in children and older adults.
- Head injuries.
- Stroke and other vascular diseases: This can lead to brain damage and triggers epilepsy.
This disease, like many other diseases, comes with several complications.
Seizures at certain times may be dangerous to patients and to others.
For instance, the likelihood of falling during a seizure attack is high. Falling during a seizure may injure the head.
Epileptic patients are also more likely to drown while bathing or swimming.
Moreover, epilepsy during pregnancy may pose danger to both the mother and the fetus.
To add, a certain anti-epileptic drug may increase the risk of birth defects. Discuss with your doctor before planning to get pregnant.
On the other hand, people with epilepsy tend to get psychological problems, such as depression, and anxiety. This is because of the difficulties dealing with the condition itself and medication side effects.
Several types of treatments exist to treat this disease.
Most commonly patients are treated with oral medications, called anti-epileptic drugs.
However, if oral medications fail to give desirable effect, another type of treatment is also available, such as:
- Vagus nerve stimulator: This device is placed under the skin on the chest during surgery. It electrically stimulates the nerve that runs through your neck and prevents seizures.
- Ketogenic diet: This is a high fat with low carbohydrate diet.
- Brain surgery: Remove the area of the brain that causes seizures.