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Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders. This condition can affect men and women of all ages. However, it is associated with a number of myths. As a result of these myths, epileptic patients are often discriminated against. Let’s bust a few of these myths.
Myth 1: Epilepsy is contagious
Coming in contact with an epileptic patient will not increase your risk of suffering from this condition. Epilepsy can be caused by a number of factors but is not transferable from one person to another. Factors triggering epilepsy include genetic defects, oxygen deprivation at birth, trauma to the head and strokes.
Myth 2: Epilepsy cannot be treated
There is no known cure for epilepsy but this condition can be managed with treatment. Treatment for epilepsy can take many forms. The most common amongst these is medication to reduce and stop seizures. In some cases, brain surgery may also be advised. A special diet can also help control epileptic attacks. Lastly, nerve stimulation may also be used to treat epilepsy.
Myth 3: Epileptic patients cannot lead a normal life
There is nothing stopping an epileptic patient from living a normal life like everyone else. Epilepsy does not affect a person’s intelligence or any other ability. It is also a misconception that epileptic women cannot have children or that their children will also have epilepsy. With treatment and a healthy prenatal plan, they can have a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy child. However, certain activities like driving should be avoided by epileptic patients.
Myth 4: A person having an epileptic fit should be restrained
An epileptic seizure will run its course and restraining the person may do more harm than good. Instead, the person should be made to lie down on their side. This will keep saliva from collecting in their mouth. Clear the area around the person and loosen their clothing. If the person wears spectacles, these should be removed. Do not try and put anything into the person’s mouth. An epileptic fit usually lasts for up to 5 minutes. If the person does not recover within that time, call a doctor immediately.
Myth 5: Anyone who has a seizure is epileptic
Seizures are not synonymous with epilepsy. They can be triggered by a number of factors including excessive drinking, heat, injury to the head etc. To be diagnosed with epilepsy, a person should have had two or more seizures with unrelated triggers.
A brain stroke can affect anyone at any point in time when the supply of blood to the brain is interrupted. It can threaten major physical functions and can prove to be fatally dangerous at times. The brain stem which is placed right above the spinal cord controls the breathing, heartbeat and levels of blood pressure. It is also in charge of controlling some elementary functions such as swallowing, hearing, speech and eye movements.
What are the different types of strokes?
There are three main kinds of stroke: ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks. The most common type of brain stroke is the ischemic stroke is caused by narrowing or blocking of arteries to the brain, which prevents the proper supply of blood to the brain. Sometimes it so happens that the blood clot that has formed elsewhere in the body have travelled via the blood vessels and has been trapped in the blood vessel which provides blood to the brain. When the supply of blood to a part of the brain is hindered, the tissue in that area dies off owing to lack of oxygen. The other variant of brain stroke is termed as hemorrhagic stroke is caused when the blood vessels in and around the brain burst or leak. Strokes need to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible in order to minimize brain damage. Remembering the F.A.S.T. acronym can help with recognizing the onset of stroke (Face, Arms, Speed, Time - explained below).
What are the common symptoms of a brain stroke?
The symptoms of brain stroke are largely dependent on the area of the brain that has been affected. It can interfere with normal functioning, such as breathing and talking and other functions which human beings can perform without thinking such as eye movements or swallowing. Since all the signals from the brain as well as other parts of the body traverse through the brain stem, the interruption of blood flow often leads to numbness or paralysis in different parts of the body.
Who is likely to have a stroke?
Anyone is at risk of developing brain stroke although ageing is directly proportional to the risk of having a stroke. Not only that an individual with a family history of brain stroke or transient ischemic attack is at a higher risk of developing stroke. People who have aged over 65 accounts for about 33 percent of all brain strokes. It is important to point here that individuals with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, cholesterol, cancer, autoimmune diseases and some blood disorders are at a higher risk of developing brain stroke.
There are a few factors which can increase the risk of developing stroke beyond any control. But there are certain lifestyle choices as well which aids in controlling the chances of being affected by stroke. It is crucial to refrain from long-term hormone replacement therapies as well as birth control pills, smoking, lack of physical activity, excessive use of alcohol and drug addiction. A brain stroke is a life-threatening medical condition, and when an individual has symptoms that resemble that of stroke, it is crucial to seek immediate medical help.
Treatment for stroke
- Treatment depends on the type of stroke.
- Ischemic strokes can be treated with 'clot-busting' drugs.
- Hemorrhagic strokes can be treated with surgery to repair or block blood vessel weaknesses.
- The most effective way to prevent strokes is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What is TPA?
TPA is a thrombolytic or a “Clot Buster” drug. This clot buster is used to break-up the clot that is causing a blockage or disruption in the flow of blood to the brain and helps restore the blood flow to the area of the brain. It is given by intravenous (IV). This can be given only within 4.5 hrs of the onset of symptoms
Time is brain
- Remember Every second Loss means brain cells die.
- Rush to the nearest Stroke Centre whenever you experience such symptoms.
- U can save the brain cells dying if you reach within 4.5 hrs by the CLOT BUSTER.
Another treatment option is an endovascular procedure* called mechanical thrombectomy, strongly recommended, in which trained doctors try removing a large blood clot by sending a wired-caged device called a stent retriever, to the site of the blocked blood vessel in the brain
- High blood pressure,
- Cigarette smoking,
- Atrial fibrillation and
- Physical inactivity.
- More than half of all strokes are caused by uncontrolled hypertension or high blood pressure, making it the most important risk factor to control.
The best way to get better after a stroke is to start stroke rehabilitation ("rehab"). In stroke rehab, a team of health professionals works with you to regain skills you lost as the result of a stroke.