The scene of a classmate having seizures while in school still haunts me to the date. All of us have heard a lot about many superstitions associated with the occurrence of seizures but have we ever wondered what are seizures and why are they caused? As per the medical definition, a seizure is an abnormal discharge of neurons that produce a temporary disturbance in the sensory and motor function. If an individual has two or more episodes of seizures, then he is diagnosed with epilepsy. So, we can say that epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which the activity of the brain becomes abnormal, causing seizures, unusual behavior and even loss of awareness. But, is there is a way to treat epilepsy?
Cause Of Epilepsy
The exact cause of epilepsy is not known in more than half the affected individuals, but a few common reasons are as follows:
- Head injury or trauma
- Infectious diseases like AIDS, meningitis, viral encephalitis, etc.
- Some changes before birth in the womb like an infection in the mother, nutritional and oxygen deficiency.
- Developmental disorders like autism
- Brain tumors or strokes
- Certain drugs of abuse or toxic chemicals
- Withdrawal from alcohol.
There are many types of generalized seizures like a tonic seizure, clonic seizure, atonic seizure, absence seizure, tonic-clonic seizure and myoclonic seizure.
Common Symptoms Of Epilepsy
The symptoms are similar to the condition in which the regular activity of the brain is affected like:
- Constant and blank staring
- Jerking movements of legs and hands that are hard to control
- Loss of awareness or sometimes even consciousness
- Feelings of fear, déjà vu, and anxiety
- State of confusion
- Loss of urine
These symptoms can also vary according to the type of the seizure. In the majority of the cases, an individual with epilepsy will have the same kind of seizure every time so the symptoms will also be the same.
One cannot even begin to imagine the complications that can arise due to epilepsy. One may fall, drown, meet with accidents, have emotional issues and also a problematic pregnancy if not treated well by the doctor.
Diagnosis Of Epilepsy
The physician will make the diagnosis by the medical history like family history, social history along with individual tests like MRI, CT scans or EEG. The doctor can also suggest a neurological examination like strength and reflex testing.
After the correct diagnosis, anti-seizure or anti-epileptic medication is prescribed by the doctor. These medications come with their share of side effects like fatigue, dizziness, loss of coordination, skin problems, etc.
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