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Overview

Epilepsy - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Epilepsy is a type of disorder which is characterized by an urge for recurrent seizures. Drugs and medications are prescribed to control the seizures, if medications fail, surgery is considered the last resort. During a seizure there is a sudden flow of electrical activity inside the brain. This can cause disturbance in the brain cells. A person’s brain can become ‘mixed up’ or ‘halted’ during a seizure. There are various types of seizures, and each seizure depends on the patient’s brain functioning.

Types of seizures:

  • Idiopathic- There is no apparent cause for this form of epilepsy.
  • Cryptogenic- During a cryptogenic seizure, the doctor suspects there is a cause behind it but he/she can’t pinpoint it.
  • Symptomatic- During this type of seizure, the specialist knows what exactly the cause is.
  • Classification of seizures:

    Partial seizure- There are usually two types of partial seizure:

    • Simple partial seizure- During this type of seizure, the patient is conscious and is also aware of her/his surrounding.
    • Complex partial seizure- During this form of seizure, the consciousness of the patient is impaired. The patient tends to forget the seizure, even if they are reminded of it, the recollection of this seizure is very vague.
    • Generalized seizure- This occurs when both the halves of the brain has epileptic activity going on. The consciousness of the person s generally lost during the seizure.

      • Secondary generalized seizure- This type of seizure occurs when the epileptic activity stars to occur as a partial seizure and gradually spreads to both the halves of the brain. The atient looses consciousness as the development of the seizure progresses.

      Sometimes other disorders and conditions are misdiagnosed as epilepsy. These conditions include:

      • High fever which has symptoms similar to epilepsy.
      • Fainting
      • Narcolepsy (disrupted nocturnal sleep and continuous episodes of sleep during the daytime).
      • Cataplexy (an attack characterized by extreme weakness due to an emotional response like anger, fear and surprise)
      • Sleep disorders
      • Nightmares
      • Panic attacks caused due to mental health disorders.
      • Fugue states (this is a rare psychological disorder caused due to temporary amnesia)
      • Psychogenic seizures (a behavior related to psychiatric disturbance like conversion disorder)
      • Breath holding episodes which occurs when a child cries vigorously and then suddenly stops breathing for a few seconds. This is characterized by loss of consciousness and change in skin color.

      Anti-epileptic drugs are prescribed to people who are diagnosed with epilepsy, to reduce the symptoms of epilepsy in the long run.

Can't be cured, but treatment helps Require medical diagnosis Lab test always required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Symptoms
Loss of consciousness. Seizures

Popular Health Tips

Epilepsy - When To Seek Medical Help?

Dr. Mansi Jain 87% (32 ratings)
DNB PSYCHIATRY, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
Epilepsy - When To Seek Medical Help?
Epilepsy is a form of chronic disorder and it is characterized by recurrent seizures. The episodes of epileptic seizures may differ from person to person. These seizures could be a result of genetic disorder or a result of trauma or stroke. During a seizure, a patient may also experience symptoms of neurological disorders and sometimes lose consciousness. Medical help for epilepsy Epilepsy itself cannot be cured using medication, but proper medicines help in eliminating recurrent seizures. These medicines stabilize the electrical activity within the brain preventing seizures. How effective is the medication for epilepsy? The success of controlling seizures using medicines depends on the type and severity of the epilepsy. Medicines for epilepsy are usually very effective and may fully keep seizures under control. However, controlling seizures caused due to brain problems may be more difficult. Usually, epilepsy medicines can control seizures for a long period of time when they are taken regularly. When is medical help needed? The decision about when to start medicines for epilepsy is a tricky one. This is because a first seizure cannot confirm whether a person has an on-going epilepsy problem. A second seizure may occur after many years or may not happen at all. Prediction of seizures is also quite difficult. The severity of seizures also indicates when to start medicines for treatment. In case a first seizure is quite severe, medication should be started at once. Some people have very mild seizures even though they may be recurring in nature, and medication can be avoided in this situation. The decision of starting medication will vary from case to case and in most cases, medications may be prudent after the first seizure itself. You should always consult a doctor to know when you need to start taking medicines to treat the condition. For making the most out of the medicines to control seizures, you should follow certain steps: You must take medications exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Before switching to generic versions of your medicines or before taking other prescribed medicines, you must consult your doctor. You should never stop taking the medicines. In case you experience enhanced depression, mood swings and suicidal thoughts, you should talk to your doctor immediately. In case you have migraine, you should let your doctor know so that he can prescribe you anti-epileptic medicines, which also prevent migraines. Medicines cannot treat the underlying cause of epilepsy, but these help in controlling seizures and this is the most common symptom of epilepsy. Medication should be started at a proper time and must be continued without stopping.
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Epilepsy - Know The Most Common Types!

Dr. Deepak Kumar 90% (26 ratings)
M. Ch (Neuro Surgery), MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Neurologist, Gurgaon
Epilepsy - Know The Most Common Types!
The brain contains numerous nerve cells which help in its normal functioning. Epilepsy or seizures occur when there is a disruption in the activity of the nerve cells in the brain. A neurological disorder of the CNS (Central Nervous System), epilepsy can affect all and sundry, irrespective of their age, sex and ethnicity. However, children and aged people (above 60 years) are more susceptible to the condition. A study suggests approximately 10 million people in India suffer from epilepsy. Types of Epilepsy Based on the activity of the brain that causes an epileptic attack, Epilepsy can be of two types - Focal or Generalized Focal Epilepsy: An epileptic attack triggered by unusual activities restricted to a particular area of the brain. In some cases, focal epilepsy may result in unconsciousness. A person may also lose awareness and become unresponsive (keeps staring into space), a condition termed as Focal Dyscognitive Seizures. A person with this condition may behave strange, such as walking in circles, chewing or rubbing their hands. In another type of focal epilepsy known as Focal seizures without loss of consciousness, a person does not lose consciousness. In such cases, there may be sudden and involuntary jerking of the arms or the legs. There may also be dizziness or a tingling sensation. Generalized Epilepsy: Here, the seizures or epilepsy result from unusual activities throughout the brain. Generalized epilepsy, may, in turn, be of the following subtypes Tonic seizures: This affects the muscles of the legs, arms, or the back, causing them to stiffen and tighten up. Atonic seizures: Here, a person may suddenly fall down due to loss of muscle control. The condition is also known as Drop Seizures. Absence seizures: Mostly affecting children, the affected person may lose awareness (temporary) and behave strangely such as staring into spacing, smacking their lips, or blinking their eyes continuously. Clonic seizures: They are characterized by sudden and continuous jerking movements of the arms, face, and neck muscles. Tonic-clonic seizures: Here, a person may suddenly lose consciousness. There are violent shaking and stiffening of the body. Some people may even be seen biting their tongue. Myoclonic seizures: In this arms, and legs of a person suddenly twitches and jerks. What triggers an Epilepsy? Epilepsy may be an outcome of the following factors Medical conditions such as stroke or even brain tumors may affect the normal activities of the brain, thereby resulting in epilepsy. Diseases such as Viral Encephalitis, AIDS or Meningitis act also act as a trigger, accelerating the chances of epilepsy. Developmental disorders such as Neurofibromatosis or Autism can also trigger epilepsy. In some cases, epilepsy may be a genetic predisposition. Thus, a person with a family history of epilepsy may suffer from the condition. Epilepsy may also be an outcome of a prenatal brain injury due to oxygen deficiency or an infection to the mother. People with dementia may also suffer from an epileptic attack.
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Understanding The Effects Of Seizures!

Dr. Sanjay Singh 89% (108 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Lucknow
Understanding The Effects Of Seizures!
Epilepsy or seizers is a neurologic disorder, which can also be classified as a chronic dysfunction of the human brain. Epilepsy is a condition that is common to both adults and children and the symptoms for the same can be spotted in any person, regardless of age or time. Though the condition can be troublesome, there is no reason to fear it. Epilepsy is curable and can be omitted with regular homoeopathic medication and treatments. If you have epilepsy, read on to find the best cures and treatments for the condition. How epilepsy affects you? Epilepsy is a condition of the brain, where it is forced to suddenly put a stop the normal electronic activities that it is used to performing. Symptoms of recurring seizures include- Sudden disorientation Confusion or inability of registering any activity around you Uncontrollable and contorted shaking of the body Suddenly stricken with fear Gritting of teeth Losing all consciousness, etc. If you have noticed any or more than one of these symptoms, it is time to give the doctor a visit. A homoeopathic specialist, in this case, can prove to be the most helpful. Types of seizures or epilepsy: Epilepsy again can be classified into some varieties, depending on which part of the brain it is affecting. Some of the different kinds of epilepsies include- Partial Seizures: Partial Seizers are further classified into simple partial seizures, absent seizures and complex partial seizures. The first variety is characterised by jerking of the body and slight impairment of sight and sound. The second variant is characterised with momentary unconsciousness, slight twitching of the facial muscles and upward gaze. The last variety if, characterised by heavy jerking of the body, almost like in a trance and last for over a minute. Generalised Seizure or Convulsion: The Generalized seizure is a more engaging form of epilepsy that affects the whole body and results in profuse convulsion. This kind of seizures is characterised by complete loss of consciousness, heavy jerking caused due to muscular contractions, severe breathing difficulty, reddening of the face and post attach back aches. These different types of seizures are caused depending on the area of the brain that they involve. Best homoeopathic treatments for seizures: Homeopathy has come up with some of the most valuable and well-researched treatments to cure epilepsy in individuals. Some of the most noted remedies and medications include- Calcarea Carbonica Cuprum Metallicum Bufo Rana Kali Bromatum Enanthe Crocata Nux Vomica Silicia Sulphur Cicuta Virosa Belladonna Hyoscyamus Causticum, etc. These remedies are designed to positively affect different kinds of epilepsies, with different intensities and in different stages. These are only a handful of cures for seizures suggested by homoeopathy. Visiting a professional, homoeopathic, medical specialist will allow you to recognise the type of epilepsy you have and also find the best remedy for the same.
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Epilepsy In Children - How To Deal With It?

Dr. Vineet Bhushan Gupta 87% (93 ratings)
Diploma in Child Health (DCH), MRCPCH, MRCP (UK), MD - Paediatrics, MBBS
Pediatrician, Delhi
Epilepsy In Children - How To Deal With It?
Epilepsy is repeated episodes of seizures caused by abnormal signals in the nerve cells in the brain, which can result in strange sensations, convulsions, muscle spasms and loss of consciousness. It is frightening to watch your child have an episode of seizure, but the good news is that most children with epilepsy outgrow seizures. An episode usually last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Types of Seizures There are 2 types of seizures: Generalized Seizures affect the whole brain Generalized tonic-clonic seizure: It is the most common type of seizures in children. In this condition, the child's body becomes stiff and falls, the child may also experience shaking of the limbs. The skin becomes bluish and teeth are clenched. The child may fall into a deep sleep afterward. Absence or Petit Mal Seizures: The child is unresponsive and may have eyelid blinking/ staring. Atonic and tonic seizures: The child collapses suddenly due to complete loss of muscle tone. This can result in head injuries. Myoclonic Seizures: The child may experience sudden, brief jerky movements of muscles of head, neck, and shoulders. Partial Seizures affect a part of the brain Simple partial seizures are characterized by uncontrollable movement of a part of the body. The child is conscious and aware but can't control the movement. Complex partial seizures occur mostly during sleep the child may make odd movements, run, scream and even hallucinate. And if the child is awake, he doesn't recall the event. Do's and Don'ts during an episode of seizure Keep a track of how long the episode lasts Turn the child to one side to prevent choking Put a pillow under the child's head Never try to put anything in the child's mouth as it may obstruct the breathing. There can be many causes of episodes of seizures During high fever in the first 48 hours (febrile seizures) Head injury Bacterial and viral infections of brain like meningitis Lack of oxygen to brain Disorders in brain development Organic disorders of brain like cysts and tumors Diagnosis It is confirmed by a pediatric neurologist Various investigations are done to confirm the diagnosis including MRI and EEG. Blood and urine tests to diagnose infections Treatment of epilepsy The pediatric neurologist usually decides the treatment plan depending on the child's age, weight, and type of epilepsy. Antiepileptic medications are the first line of treatment. The drugs are usually required for two years and then if there is no episode for these two years, it is discontinued. These drugs may have some side effects like drowsiness, inability to concentrate and gingival enlargement. Discuss with your pediatrician on ways to manage them. Sometimes a ketogenic diet is also prescribed. The child is given a fat rich and carbohydrate low diet. It is worrisome as a parent if your child is diagnosed with epilepsy, but about 65% children need medication for 2 years and then outgrow seizures. However, remember that the child should never miss their medication and get enough sleep.
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Epilepsy - Signs and Symptoms You Should Know!

Dr. Jayanta Roy 89% (86 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Neurology, Fellowship in Stroke
Neurologist, Kolkata
Epilepsy - Signs and Symptoms You Should Know!
Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system, thus it is basically a neurological disorder. In this the nerve cell activity of the brain is disrupted and causes seizures along with episodes of unusual behavior along with the loss of consciousness. The symptoms of the seizure can vary and some people with epilepsy just stare blankly for few seconds when a seizure takes place, while some twitch their arms and legs repeatedly. Symptoms of Epilepsy: As epilepsy is caused by the abnormal activities in the brain cells, seizures affect the processes with which the brain coordinates. Some signs and symptoms are: Staring blankly Confusion which is temporary Uncontrolled jerking movements of the legs and arms Loss of awareness and consciousness Psychic symptoms Mostly the symptoms vary depending on the type of the seizure. The seizures are further classified into focal and generalized depending on which part of the brain shows abnormal activity. Focal seizures When seizures are due to the abnormal activity of the cells in just one area then it is known as focal seizures. These seizures are of two types: Simple partial seizures or the focal seizures without loss of consciousness. These seizures basically alter the emotions and the things like change in smell, look, sound and taste. These also result in the involuntary jerking of the body like the legs and arms, with spontaneous sensory symptoms like the tingling and flashing of the lights. Complex partial seizures or the focal dyscognitive seizures. These seizures have a loss of awareness and consciousness. One might just stare blankly into space in this seizure and performs repetitive activities like swallowing, chewing, walking in circles and chewing. Generalized seizures There are six types of generalized seizures. These are: Absence seizures, also known as petit mal seizures, are commonly seen in children and are characterized by subtle body movements like lip smacking and eye blinking and staring blankly into space. These also cause loss of consciousness. Tonic seizures lead to stiffening of the muscles. These affect the muscles of the legs and arms and also cause to fall to the ground. Atonic seizures are also called as drop seizures. These cause loss of control in the muscles, thereby leading to collapse or fall. Clonic seizures are the rhythmic and jerking muscle movements. These affect the arms, face and neck. Myoclonic seizures appear as twitches in the arms and legs. Tonic-clonic seizures also known as grand mal seizures are very dramatic and lead to body stiffening, abrupt loss of consciousness, shaking and loss of bladder control and tongue biting.
2 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

What is the permanent treatment of fits? My friend and her mother have this disease. Suggest me sir/madam Thank you Lybrate.

Dr. Sajeev Kumar 88% (23087 ratings)
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The permanent treatment of fits depends on the EEG type of fits and no single generalised treatment is there.

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