What Is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s normal functioning and leads to seizures or unusual character, sensations, and loss of consciousness. It is the fourth commonest neurological disorder that affects people of all ages. It happens when there is physical injury, brain inflammation, infection, or any other problem that affects brain development. The one who suffers from epilepsy experiences a seizure that will be unpredictable and episodic.
There are mainly 2 epilepsy types. They are as mentioned below:
- Generalized Seizures: When the nerve cells on both the sides of brain misfire, it Causes blackouts, muscle spasms, or fall.
- Focal Seizures: This affects a particular part of the brain that effects physically and emotionally.
Besides having abnormal sensations and behavior, and loss of consciousness, there are other epilepsy Symptoms as follows:
- Loss of coordination in hands and legs
- Temporary confusion
- Fainting or fatigue
- Uncontrollable jerking movements of arms and legs
- Staring spell
- Fear, anxiety, and Depression
If you notice any of the above-mentioned Symptoms over some time, it could be considered as the Signs and Symptoms of epilepsy, therefore it is recommended to consult a neurologist for a thorough examination and start the treatment as soon as possible. Usually, epilepsy is triggered by various reasons like stress, sleep deficit, alcoholism, and failure to take regular medication.
Who is at Risk?
Anyone can be at Risk of epilepsy regardless of gender, and age. But certain conditions make some people vulnerable to epilepsy Risk Factors. They are as follows:
- Genetics: People with family history, i.e. Parents or siblings suffering from this condition are at high risk of developing epilepsy.
- Children and older adults.
- Head trauma followed by a serious head injury is at increased risk of being epileptic.
- Meningitis can be a reason to put you at a high risk of epilepsy.
- Encephalitis is another reason that triggers epilepsy.
- Conditions like AIDS can increase your risk of developing epilepsy.
- Those who had a history of seizures in childhood are at increased risk of developing epilepsy as they get old
- Stroke and Vascular Diseases increase the Risk of epilepsy.
- Brain infections and dementia can trigger an epileptic attack.
Children and older adults are mostly affected by epilepsy. Only in very few cases, there have been clear cases observed for epilepsy. Typically it is caused by any kind of injury to the brain and other epilepsy Causes include the following:
- Low level of oxygen during birth
- Brain tumours
- Head injuries during birth, or accidents at a young age or childhood
- Infections like meningitis and encephalitis
- Stroke or any other possible brain injuries
- Genetic conditions like TB can result in brain damage
- Elevated blood glucose and sodium
- Missing the dose of regular medicine
- Taking medicines that interfere with epilepsy medicine
- Use of drugs like cocaine, and ecstasy and alcoholism
- Sleep deprivation
How is Epilepsy Diagnosed?
There are several methods used for epilepsy Diagnosis that is useful in early detection and treatment. It is not so easy and simple to conclude the Diagnosis. Hence you may have to consult an epilepsy specialist doctor in India several times and get some epilepsy test done to confirm the condition to start epilepsy Treatment. The commonly recommended tests are as follows:
- Blood tests: Certain blood tests conducted during, before, and after seizure will help to detect the reason for seizure whether it is caused by genetics or any infection.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan: X-rays are used to create images of the brain to detect any possible cysts, tumors, or bleeding that triggers a seizure.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): It helps the doctor to analyze the brain structure to detect any damaged tissues that trigger a seizure.
- Functional MRI (fMRI): This particular scan detects the part of the brain that consumes more oxygen while you move, speak or do particular tasks. This helps the doctor avoid that area while performing any brain surgery.
- Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS): This helps to create an image of different parts of the brain and compare their functionality. Unlike MRI, this focuses on a particular part of the brain.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan: This helps the doctor to detect the brain chemistry and problems by injecting a radioactive material into the arm’s vein that gets accumulated in the brain and shows which part of the brain consumes less or more glucose.
- Neuropsychological Tests: In this, the doctor will analyze the speech, thinking, and memory power to check which part of your brain is affected by the seizure.
How is Epilepsy Treated?
Epilepsy Treatment involves various medication and anti-epileptic drugs that can control or reduce the frequency of seizures occurring. Some drugs used as the best epilepsy cure is effective to stop the occurrence of seizures. The treatment line is prescribed by the doctor after conducting several epilepsy tests and analyzing its results.
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How can Epilepsy be Prevented?
Despite having many reasons that trigger seizures in epileptic patients, it can be Prevented if we give attention to the following facts.
- The medication prescribed by the doctor should be taken regularly.
- Practice relaxation techniques to manage stress, anxiety, and Depression.
- Follow a regular sleep schedule strictly.
- Avoid bright light-emitting gadgets and other visual stimuli.
- Avoid drugs and consumption of alcohol.
- Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet rich in nutrients.
Until you figure out the exact reason for epileptic seizures, the only way to prevent the occurrence of seizures is by avoiding the reasons that trigger the condition. The aforementioned tips will help to make a remarkable difference in your health status.