Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain, characterised by repeated seizures (A seizure is a sudden alteration of behavior due to a change in the electrical functioning of the brain .

It is characterized by recurrent seizures, which are brief episodes of involuntary movement that may involve a part of the body or the entire body and are sometimes accompanied by loss of consciousness and control of bowel or bladder function.

The brain continuously generates tiny electrical impulses in a very systematic and orderly pattern. However, during a seizure, the individual experiences abnormal behavior, involuntary movement of limbs, and sensations, sometimes including loss of consciousness.

Epilepsy is usually treated by medication and in some cases by surgery, devices, or dietary changes.


Epilepsy Symptoms

• Staring into space with or without subtle body movements. Seizures may occur in clusters, happening as often as 100 times a day, and could cause a brief loss of awareness.

• Seizures depend on where in the brain the disturbance first started, and how far it spread.

• Symptoms that don’t last too long could be - loss of awareness or consciousness, and disturbances of movement, and sensation - including hearing, taste, mood, or other cognitive features.

• Epilepsy patients generally have more physical problems - such as fractures and bruising from injuries related to seizures, and higher psychological conditions, that include anxiety and depression.

• Premature death in people with epilepsy is up to three times more likely than in the general population, with the highest rates of premature mortality.

Causes & Risks

• Epilepsy may occur as a result of a genetic disorder or an acquired brain injury, such as a trauma or stroke.

• Brain damage from prenatal and perinatal causes e.g. a loss of oxygen or trauma during birth, or a low birth weight.

• Congenital abnormalities with associated brain malformations or stroke or bleeding.

• A stroke that restricts the amount of oxygen to the brain.

• An infection of the brain such as meningitis, encephalitis, or neurocysticercosis, certain genetic syndromes.

• Other causes for Epilepsy could be tumors, strokes, brain damage from illness or injury, or even a combination of these.


Test & Diagnosis

The type of epilepsy and the type of seizures both must be diagnosed properly with the help of a proper diagnostic procedure…

• It can be hard to diagnose epilepsy in no time, because other conditions, such as panic attacks, fainting, or migraines, can cause quite the same symptoms.

• Receiving an epilepsy diagnosis can create anxiety in individuals, but it's the first step toward managing the condition properly.

• Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterised by recurrent seizures.

• Proper diagnosis involves a thorough review of medical history, physical exam, and neurological tests such as EEG, Magnetic resonance imaging, or CT-computed tomography scan to rule out any underlying causes or abnormalities in the brain.

• The most common diagnosis is temporal lobe seizures and focal seizures.

Epilepsy Treatment

• It is observed that in low-income countries, about three-quarters of people with epilepsy may not receive the treatment they require, which is called the “treatment gap”.

• Many low- and middle-income countries, have a low availability of antiseizure medicines, which can become a barrier to accessing treatment when they need it the most.

• At the primary healthcare level, it is possible to diagnose and treat most people with epilepsy, without the need for very sophisticated equipment.

• Projects indicate that training primary healthcare providers to diagnose and treat epilepsy can effectively reduce the epilepsy gap. • A ketogenic diet can help control seizures.

• Surgery is an option for patients who respond poorly to drug treatments


Living With Epilepsy

Managing epilepsy is knowing how it can affect a person's independence and learning how to perform life’s daily needs with the challenges…

Living with epilepsy involves various aspects that can impact life. It’s a priority to work closely with healthcare professionals to manage the condition with ease.

Medications are often used to control seizures, but finding the right one can take time since it varies from one person to the other.

Adjustments like getting enough sleep, managing stress, and avoiding triggers are very crucial. To top it all, having a support network, understanding patients' condition, and educating individuals around you about epilepsy can make a huge difference in living a fulfilling life despite the challenges.


Epilepsy can present with the following complications-

• A fall - If an individual falls during a seizure, there is a possibility of injuring their head or breaking a bone.

• Drowning – Individuals with epilepsy are more likely to drown while swimming or bathing than people without epilepsy. The risk is higher as they may present a seizure while in water.

• Breathing in food or saliva into the lungs during a seizure, can cause aspiration pneumonia.

• Learning difficulties

• There could be permanent brain damage.

• There could be cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac damage due to catecholamine surge, or respiratory failure. There could also be hypoxia, aspiration pneumonia, pulmonary edema, fever, and leucocytosis.

Warning - BNC - Best Neuro Care
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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