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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

National Epilepsy Day

Dr. Atma Ram 91% (365 ratings)
MD, MBBS
Neurologist, Gurgaon
Epilepsy is a very common in general population. It can start at any age but its curable in most of the cases. The most important thing is proper diagnosis and proper treatment. It's important for the family members to make a video of the event when somebody's getting attack.
2 people found this helpful

Epilepsy - How To Deal With It?

Dr. Hardik Thakker 92% (417 ratings)
MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS
Internal Medicine Specialist, Mumbai
Epilepsy - How To Deal With It?
Epilepsy is a relatively common disorder. Most cases of epilepsy can be controlled with a combination of drug therapy and healthy lifestyle. In some cases, surgery may also be advised. Epilepsy affects not only the lifestyle of the patient but also that of their caregiver. Each person reacts to epilepsy in a different way and hence the type of care needed also varies from person to person. While some patients have few seizures and require care only when they're having a seizure others need round the clock care. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if a loved one suffers from epilepsy. Know what type of epilepsy you are dealing with. Not all epileptic seizures are the same. Find out what type of seizures your loved one suffers from and what are the possible triggers associated with Involve yourself in their lifestyle. Epilepsy should not be a reason for your loved one to lock themselves in a room to stay safe. Participate in activities with them of you feel the activity may be a safety risk if they were to have a seizure; for example - swimming. Notice seizure triggers. Often an epileptic patient may not remember the seizure after it has occurred. As their care giver, keep a seizure diary to track their seizures and its related triggers. Look for patterns in the triggers to their epilepsy attacks. Keep them safe during a seizure. When experiencing a seizure, the patient will lose consciousness, experience muscle convulsions and may grit his teeth. If the person is standing, hold them so that they do not fall. If they are lying down, try turning them onto their side. Do not put anything into their mouth. Take care of them after a seizure. After the seizure, people are most likely to be confused, tired and have a headache. Check for injuries and keep them calm till medical help arrives. Loosen clothing around their neck and ensure that there is nothing inhibiting their breathing. Medical identification. While someone who suffers from seizures often is likely to always have someone with them, others who have rare seizures may often venture out alone. In such cases, ensure that they always have medical identification on them. Also make sure that their friends, colleagues etc are aware of their medical condition. Help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Staying active is essential for people with epilepsy. Avoid contact sports and pick low impact exercises like walking, running or swimming. Following a buddy system is essential when an epileptic person works out.
3 people found this helpful

Ways That Can Help Deal With Epilepsy And Seizures In Children!

Dr. Dhananjay K Mangal 83% (50 ratings)
MD - Paediatrics, MBBS
Pediatrician, Jaipur
Ways That Can Help Deal With Epilepsy And Seizures In Children!
How to care for your child with paediatric epilepsy? Epilepsy is defined as a neurological disorder, which affects people of all age groups. However, the cases of seizures are found more in young children (likely to occur in as many as 4% of children) than in adults. It is still not known as to why a developing brain is more prone to seizures than a mature brain. A child is said to be suffering from epilepsy when they occur frequently. As parents your responsibilities are compounded if your child has epilepsy. You not only have to pay heed towards the normal concerns of his/her upbringing but also have to look into your child's emotional aspects, while dealing with the disorder in your day to day life. You can help your child deal with the condition in the following ways: 1. It is quite likely that your child may feel resentful and develop emotional issues, such as depression or low self-esteem. Help your child cultivates positive attitude towards life and his/her disease. 2. Try to make your child come to terms with reality by helping him/her to understand that even though he/she may be different, he/she shouldn't look upon the condition as something that is abnormal. It is best to help your child concentrate on his/her strengths at such times. 3. Help your child participate in activities of his/her choice to instill positivity in life. 4. Make sure your other children understand their sibling's ailment and if he/she feels neglected try and spend more time with him/her. If need be, seek family counselling to make everyone understand how to deal with your child's illness. 5. Learn about your child's medication schedule thoroughly and also find out what he/she needs to do in case a dose of medication is missed. 6. Develop an environment where he/she feels comfortable and can easily share a concern or anxieties. If you would like to consult with me privately, please click on consult.
567 people found this helpful

Seizure Disorder

Dr. Pankaj Arora 88% (13 ratings)
MBBS, MCH Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Hisar
Seizure Disorder
Patient with seizure disorder should take medicine properly and regularly because if they skip even one dose then it can provoke seizure. They should do the regular consultation with doctor. The patient should take proper sleep and diet and avoid stress, driving alone and night duties.
3 people found this helpful

Severe Epilepsy - How Surgery Can Help?

Dr. Amit Kumar Ghosh 88% (126 ratings)
MBBS, DNB, Fellowship in Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Kolkata
Severe Epilepsy - How Surgery Can Help?
The word epilepsy brings to mind visions of people frothing at the mouth and rolling on the ground. However, epilepsy affects each patient in a different way. This can make it hard to recognize at times. In the more serious cases of epilepsy, an epileptic attack can make a patient injure himself or develop other life threatening conditions. In rare cases, epilepsy can even cause death. Thus it becomes imperative to understand how to deal with epilepsy. Treatment options for epilepsy can be categorized as medication, surgical procedures and dietary changes. Medication Medication for epilepsy is prescribed on the basis of the symptoms presented and the type of epilepsy the patient is suffering from. In most cases, seizures can be controlled with a single type of medication, but in others, the doctor may need to prescribe a combination of medicines to control epilepsy. These forms of medication do have side effects and hence any reactions to the medication must be immediately brought to the doctor's notice. The dosage for epilepsy medication may need to be varied with time. An epileptic patient should never discontinue medication on their own. Surgery Depending on the type of seizures and the area of the brain affected, a doctor may advise surgery in cases of severe epilepsy. Surgery can help reduce the number of seizures experienced or completely stop them. Surgery to treat epilepsy is of many types. Some of the common procedures are: 1. Surgery to remove tumor of any such conditions that may be triggering the epileptic attacks 2. Surgery to remove a small section of the brain from where a seizure originates. This may also be referred to as a lobectomy. 3. Multiple subpial transaction or a surgery that involves making a series of cuts in the brain to prevent the seizures from spreading to other parts of the brain. 4. Surgery to sever the neural connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. 5. Surgery to remove half the brain's cortex or outer layer Dietary changes A diet rich in fats and low in carbohydrates can help reduce seizures. This is known as a ketogenic diet and aims at making the body break down fats instead of carbohydrates. It can cause a buildup of uric acid in the body and thus should be practiced only under the guidance of a dietician. In cases where epileptic attacks are triggered by malnutrition and birth defects, taking vitamin supplements can help lower the frequency of seizures.
3260 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My mother 63 years is suffering from parkinson (PD) since 2013 is on syndopaplus (7 am&12 pm) and syndopa (3 pm) medication 3 times a day when syndopa withdraws thereby inducing stiffness & rigidity resulting in seizure thereby finding very hard to move and not even able to getup from bed or chair without assistance. Neurologist has now prescribed Bromocriptine 2.5 mg along with syndopa (twice 7 am & 7 pm) to mitigate syndopa side effect. Can this be taken at 7 am and 3 pm instead of 7 pm as the last syndopa taken is at 3 pm or any other alternatives suggestions is welcome.

Dr. Shreyas Pendharkar 92% (389 ratings)
Observer Cum Fellowship, Certificate in Forensic Psychology, MD-Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Akola
Simple answer is No. Syndopa has very short effective concentration in blood & hence as soon as it's blood levels begin to decrease, thereby decreasing it's brain levels, your mother starts getting movement related difficulties If you feel she is not getting optimal treatment, discuss with your doctor about other effective medicines like Ropinirole, pramirole etc to increase efficiency of Syndopa combination. But don't change time of medication administration.

I am suffering from epilepsy problem. According to doctor I have to take meds lifetime. I am taking versitol 200 mg and 300 mg. Due to this issue I have problem like facing fears when I am alone. Everybody in my family are afraid of this issue. Can someone point out the seriousness of this problem?

Dr. Jaiwant Sachdev 90% (161 ratings)
Doctor of Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialist, Raipur
In case you take regular medicines for epilepsy the attacks can be controlled. Please do not miss the drugs as suggested. The most important cause of precipitation of an seizure is missing the dose. Nothing to worry.

Why and how does epilepsy starts Why does it come Which is the best medicine for it How much years should we wait for it to get cured.

Dr. Nilesh M. Bhandari 95% (66 ratings)
MD, DNB (Medicine) DNB ( Neurology)
Neurologist, Pune
Epilepsy is basically due to excessive electrical discharges in brain which gets dissipated and leads to abnormal involuntary jerk limb movt with loss of consciousness. It can be due to many causes like trauma, brain injury or any cortical brain disease. Medication usually can very well control it in 60 to 70 percent of patients, well you need to continue medications longterm, may be few years or sometime lifelong and it depends on type of epilepsy.
1 person found this helpful

Last month mujhe daura pada tha tab se medicine chal rhi hai but fir bhi kabhi kabhi mera left side ka aadha body kaam karna band kar deta hai. Aur dekhne mein bhi problem hai even newspapaer bhi theek se nahi padha jaata hai. Aur meri wife aur mere beech fight rehti hai kyunki maine sex power kho di hai ab. Evem erection bhi nahi hota.

Dr. Pranay Gandhi 94% (738 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Social & Preventive Medicine / Community Medicine, Fellowship of european union of sexual medicine, Fellowship in diabetes
Sexologist, Chandrapur
Epilepsy and its drugs both causes impotence and if you have a stroke then you have far larger problem to take care than just having an erection.

Health Quizzes

Epilepsy - Tips To Help You Support Someone Suffering From It!

Dr. Jayanta Roy 90% (75 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Neurology, Fellowship in Stroke
Neurologist, Kolkata
During an epileptic seizure, a person can choke on his/her tongue. True or false? Take this quiz to know now.
Start Quiz

Myths and Facts About Epilepsy

Dr. Jigar Parekh 89% (116 ratings)
DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Rajkot
Alcohol may trigger epileptic seizures and a person can choke on his/her tongues while having one. True or false? Take this quiz to know now.
Start Quiz

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