Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes abnormal brain activity. Epilepsy causes seizures. Seizure is sudden uncontrollable movements or changes in behaviour and sometimes lack of consciousness. Epilepsy can affect people of any age, race, males and females. It can cause damage to any part of the brain and impair functions controlled by the damaged part of the brain.
Even Though there is no identifiable cause for epilepsy, various factors can contribute to the disorder:
- Developmental disorders
- Brain conditions such as tumour and stroke that has damaged brain cells
- Infectious diseases such as viral encephalitis
- Traumatic injuries to head
- Fetal brain damage during pregnancy
- Electric shock
- High blood pressure
- Drug abuse
- Uncontrollable and jerking limb and facial muscle movements
- Muscle twitches
- Loss of consciousness
- Confusions that are temporary
- Drooling (collection or dropping of saliva)
- Frothing at mouth
- Rapid eye movements
- Making unusual noises
- Teeth clenching
- Review signs and symptoms
- Medical history
- Blood tests
- Neurological examination
- Brain imaging procedures such as MRI, CT,PET
- Neuropsychological examination
- Take precautionary measures to avoid trauma such as wearing helmets, seat belts and reducing speed while driving.
- Avoid stress, anxiety
- Practise stress management and relaxation techniques
- Maintain cleanliness and take vaccinations to prevent infectious diseases
- Maintain regular sleep schedule
- Take good care during pregnancy.
Medications and surgery are the major treatment options for epilepsy.
- A combination of Antiepileptic or anti-seizure medicines can be given to control frequency and intensity of seizures
- When medications fail in controlling seizures doctors may perform surgery to remove part of the brain that causes seizures or that is affected. This is done considering the size of the damaged part, secondary effects and other health related factors.
- In some cases, a specific or ketogenic diet may also be recommended that helps in reducing seizures
- Devices like vagus nerve stimulators or electrodes connected to a generator may also be implanted in your body to control and reduce seizures.
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