Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain characterized by repeated seizures. A seizure is usually defined as a sudden alteration of behavior due to a temporary change in the electrical functioning of the brain. If you wanna understand epilepsy in easy manner you can check out this article, it would help you understand What is Epilepsy and its types ?
Way back before the time of Hippocrates. So, way before Jesus Christ or before the common age people used to think that epilepsy was caused by the moon. That it was caused by the evil spirits. They thought people with epilepsy are crazy. A lot of misconceptions still persist today. Many people still believe that epileptic fits are because of evil possession and then they prefer seeing a faith healer for this illness rather than a doctor.
In this article you will learn the causes, symptoms and treatment of epilepsy.
WHAT CAUSES EPILEPSY?
First of all, epilepsy is not a mental or psychiatric disorder. It is not caused because of stress or failures in life.
1. VASCULAR CAUSES
Associated with blood supply of the brain this include Stroke, bleeding, AV malformations etc.
Infections which causes it are meningitis, Brain Abscesses, AIDS
Leading cause in both young and old patients like due to road accident, penetrating injuries
It can be genetic. Basically it means that it is transferred from parents and their family to the offspring
Due to tumors
6. AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
CNS , Alzheimer’s disease, Vasculitis, SLE
7. METABOLIC DISORDERS
Increase level of glucose, Hyponatremia
Common drugs which causes epilepsy is alcohol, cocaine and phencyclidine
Some epilepsy doesn’t have any cause
Symptoms depend upon the seizure experienced by the patient. Usually symptoms depend upon the seizure. I will list down some common symptoms. If you wanna know symptoms depending upon the seizure then check this article What is Epilepsy and its types ?
Some symptoms include –
- Loss of awareness
- Unusual behavior / sensations
- Uncontrollable movements
- Loss of consciousness
Well, there is no complete cure for epilepsy it’s a lifelong disease but that doesn’t mean it is a life sentence. 70% of people with epilepsy can have good control over their seizures with proper medications taken.
Most treatment is possible through antiepileptic drugs. These medications are to be taken for a long time period regularly. The duration of the therapy is between 4-5 years or may be 10 years or even longer. The most effective way of treating epilepsy is the timely and regular administration of these drugs. An important point to remember is that good control over seizures doesn’t mean one can stop the drugs because these seizures can reoccur if medications are stopped.
If you have two or more seizures that appear out of the blue and occur more than 24 hours apart you may be diagnosed with epilepsy. But things like excess alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, concussions, or new medications can also cause seizures that aren’t at all related to epilepsy. If you think you have epilepsy then talk to a doctor about getting it diagnosed with the help of a CT scan, MRI, ECG, etc.
Some people with epilepsy still face the stigma and discrimination built on negative misconceptions. The key message is that it is an illness of the brain. It is not something to be ashamed of. This is not due to evil possession or any supernatural phenomenon. It is an illness just like the common cold or pneumonia etc. It is completely treatable and with the currently available therapeutic options living a normal life with epilepsy is absolutely possible.
So, if someone has a similar symptom, then he or she should see a doctor and get treatment. They should behave and feel like a normal part of society. In reality, these epileptic patients if properly treated can become an important part of our society and serve humanity just like Theodore Roosevelt the 26th president of the US. He was an epileptic patient too.
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Author : Dr. Easminara Shaikh
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