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Epilepsy: What You Need To Know About It?

Dr. Jayanta Roy 90% (88 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Neurology, Fellowship in Stroke
Neurologist, Kolkata  •  27 years experience
Epilepsy: What You Need To Know About It?

Epilepsy is a neurological disease which is characterised by recurring epileptic seizures. These seizures can be brief or can persist for prolonged periods. Vigorous episodes which last long can result in physical injuries such as broken bones. Mention that 6th February is International epilepsy day.

Causes of Epilepsy
The cause of this condition isn’t very evident; however, most medical practitioners attribute epileptic seizures to brain injury, tumours, infections in the brain or birth defects. Some doctors believe that epilepsy is caused due to genetic mutations and is an outcome of abnormal activity of cells in the brain. Other causes for this condition can be alcohol or narcotics withdrawal and electrolyte problems.

Symptoms

  1. Repeated seizures
  2. Impaired memory
  3. Bouts of fainting
  4. Short spans of blackout
  5. Sudden bouts of blinking and chewing
  6. Panic
  7. Inappropriate repetitive movements

Types of Seizures
A seizure, also known as fit, is usually a brief episode characterised by uncontrollable jerking movement and loss of awareness due to abnormal neuronal activity in your brain. A collective occurrence of these seizures causes epilepsy.

There are three types of seizures an epileptic person usually encounters.

  1. Idiopathic: This kind of seizure has no apparent cause
  2. Cryptogenic: The doctors believe that there is a cause for the seizure but cannot detect it
  3. Symptomatic: These seizures occur due to a reason.

Treatments

  1. Medication: Medication is the most common treatment in case of epilepsy. Drugs taken on a regular basis can stop the seizure partially. But in very severe cases, they seem to have no effect at all.
  2. Surgery: For symptomatic seizures which are caused due to abnormal brain function, surgery can be a way to get rid of seizures. In some minor cases, nerve stimulation in the brain and special diets can be prescribed to control the epileptic seizures.

Five facts about epilepsy you need to know:

  • Epilepsy is not psychosis or madness and can be treated easily 
  • Popular celebraties with epilepsy include Aristotle, Alfred Nobel, Alexander the great, Sir Isaacs Newton, Martin Luther and Julius Caesar etc. 
  • Woman with epilepsy can have a normal pregnancy 
  • Newer medicines for epilepsy are effective and very safe 
  • Surgery can cure epilepsy in some patients.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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