There’s a lot that happens each day in the human body, and most of it happens without you realizing. What you do every minute, right from sitting to walking, and till the time you’re exhausted and sleep is all controlled by the brain. There are many voluntary and involuntary actions and reactions involved which occur through the signals sent to the brain.
These signals are like electrical impulses being sent to the brain and vice versa at every second, when you are awake and when you are asleep as well. But what if due to some reason, these electric impulses go haywire?
Have you thought what can happen?
A seizure attack. Epilepsy.
So, let’s begin with what epilepsy is, and how it occurs.
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that occurs with a sudden electrical rush that travels from any part of the body to the brain. This shock like feeling reaches the brain and results in seizure attacks. It appears like a fit and can last for several minutes. When the seizure occurs, the electrical activity that takes place and discharges the nerve cells in the brain. This leads to a great deal of disturbance in the person’s mental, motor and sensory functions.
Epileptic seizures can be of various degrees. While some seizures could be mild which you might not realize, some can be very strong which occur with sudden muscle spasms and twitches to an extent that you might fall unconscious, and no memory of it later. A recurrent occurrence of epileptic seizures can also result in slowing down the normal activity of your brain. It can make you slow, confused and in severe cases can lead to slowing down memory.
As mentioned earlier there are different degrees of the seizures, there are also various types of epileptic seizures. Read through the article, for a basic understanding of the different types of epilepsy seizures.
Types of epileptic seizures and their symptoms
Epileptic seizures are categorized into two main types.
General Seizures – Generalised seizures are usually a result of abnormal activity in both right and left hemispheres of the brain. It often causes the person to faint during the seizure attack.
Generalised seizures can be further divided into the following.
Myoclonic: The person might experience muscle twitches.
Absence: This involves a brief period of a blackout or loss of awareness.
Tonic-clonic: The person might have alternative jerks and stiffness.
Partial Seizures – Partial seizures are the most common type of epileptic seizures. Almost 60% of people experience partial seizures which have very mild symptoms like daydreaming or just going blank for a few minutes. They usually go unnoticed and end up spreading from one part of the brain to other areas of the brain.
Partial seizures can be further classified into the following two varieties.
Simple Partial Seizures: Involves dizziness and odd sense of taste and smells, but doesn’t involve losing consciousness.
Complex Partial Seizures: This usually involves losing consciousness. In some cases, the loss of reception is also noticed. For example, the person might repeat certain actions, and might just stare at something constantly without blinking.
What are the possible causes of epilepsy?
While there is a broad spectrum of causes of an epileptic attack, here’s a quick list of the most common causes of epilepsy. Take a look.
– A brain stroke that most commonly occurs in men and women above the age of 35.
– A high fever or a chronic illness that could lead to a break down in the communication system of the body.
– Vascular diseases
– A brain injury
– Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
– A prenatal injury that affects the brain development
– AIDS and meningitis
– Certain neurological conditions especially that come with birth
Is epilepsy genetic?
While genetics does play a role in causing epilepsy, it is still a very rare case with only 1% of the population developing it at a young age of 20. However, if any of your parents is epileptic, you might be at a risk of 2-5 percent.
How can an epileptic seizure be diagnosed?
If you think you are at a risk and have experienced symptoms of epilepsy, you can get the following diagnostic tests done to confirm. Also, consult a neurologist before getting these tests done, to be sure.
– Positron Emission Tomography is usually known as (PET Scan)
– CT scan
– Single-Photon Emission Computerised Tomography
Is a surgery necessary for treating epilepsy?
Epilepsy is something that occurs suddenly. The attacks can be reduced in frequency and degree to a great extent with close monitoring and medication. A surgery can be an option only in case the medication fails to reduce the symptoms and the attacks.
So, if you think you need to gather some more information about epileptic treatments, feel free to get in touch with our expert neurologists at Medisys Hospital and get your doubts cleared. You might not need a surgery. But if you do, we assure you great results.
ABOUT THE HOSPITAL:
Medisys Hospitals is a growing super speciality hospital in Hyderabad that represents the vision and mission of a group of highly qualified and experienced veteran medical professionals. Started in June 2016, it is a 200-bedded hospital with all medical and surgical specialties available. We rely on our in-house state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities to provide high-level care for our patients.