What You Should Know About Epilepsy
Coming back to herself, Fejiro felt fuzzy and lightheaded with muscles aching, and her head-banging in tandem with her irregular heartbeat. Her consciousness waned and rose, swimming in confusion with no actual memories of how she got there. It took her a moment to get it, but she finally did when she felt those familiar sensations of shame and sadness. At that moment, she didn’t need any of the people staring at her with shock to tell her she had just had an episode.
Unfortunately, this is the story of people living with epilepsy. Studies have shown that individuals with epilepsy have a high chance of developing depression, anxiety, bone fractures, and other ailments. This may be due to the stress of managing the condition, and the social stigma surrounding the condition. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder in which the normal chemical and electrical activities between nerve cells in the brain become disturbed. This disturbance causes the neurons to spark abnormally, resulting in seizures. However, having seizures does not automatically mean that one has epilepsy. A person generally must have had at least two unprovoked seizures at least 24 hours apart to be diagnosed with epilepsy. This means that the cause of the seizures cannot have another known cause, aside from the disturbing brain activities that are considered to be epileptic.
Types Of Epileptic Syndromes
Doctors use a variety of factors to classify epileptic syndromes. One is the type of seizure the condition falls under which could be generalized or focal seizures. Other factors taken into account, are the ages of victims, family history of seizures, EEG pattern, symptoms, and the severity of the condition the patient faces. Hence, the following are types of epileptic syndromes:
- Reflex Epilepsy
- Benign Rolandic Epilepsy
- Sleep-related epilepsy syndromes
- Benign Occipital Epilepsy
- Frontal lobe epilepsy
- Febrile Seizures
- Childhood Absence Epilepsy
- Juvenile Absence Epilepsy
- Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy
- Infantile Spasms
- Hypothalamic seizures
- Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
Causes Of Epilepsy
Causes of epilepsy can range from genetic to infections, and in a good number of people, its causes are unknown. Hence, some known causes of epilepsy include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Genetic Causes
- Infectious diseases such as HIV, the influenza virus, and cysticercosis
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Neuroglial and Brain Tumors
- Antiseizure Medication
Since the first known causes of epilepsy are seizures, these drugs are used to treat a broad range of seizure types, including focal and generalized seizures. Your doctor will consider your condition, the frequency of your seizures, your age, and any other health conditions you may have, as well as any medications you may be taking before prescribing a suitable antiseizure medication as there is a wide range of antiseizure drugs available.
- Medical Marijuana
The drug is made from purified cannabidiol, an ingredient found in marijuana. The medication does not contain the component in marijuana that causes the feeling of highness associated with its abuse. Medical marijuana has been found to reduce seizure frequency in victims facing genetic epilepsy syndromes, febrile related epilepsy syndrome, and others
- Surgery for Epilepsy
If surgery is the appropriate course of treatment, doctors say that it be conducted immediately as epilepsy surgery is the only option with the potential to cure drug-resistant seizures and are usually only considered if the person has tried and not seen improvement from at least two anti-seizure drugs.
- Implanted Devices Used in Epilepsy Treatment
Implanted nerve stimulation devices represent another option for treating seizures that are not controlled with medication. The devices are surgically implanted under the skin of the chest or the brain to control abnormal electrical activity in the brain that causes seizures.
There is no proven way that one can avoid all forms of epilepsy, however, you can reduce your risk for seizures and epilepsy by staying safe while engaging in activities that cause serious head injuries and trauma. You should also practice good hygiene that would protect your susceptibility to contact infectious diseases that cause epilepsy. Following a healthy diet, staying active, reducing your stress levels will also help to reduce your risk of having conditions like heart attacks or strokes that cause epilepsy.
If you have any questions or require more information, please visit any of Lily Hospitals’ facilities to consult a doctor. You can also call 07053351741 or 07053351712 to schedule an appointment.