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Epilepsy Definition

Epilepsy is a brain-related disease. Repetitive seizures are a symptom of epilepsy. A seizure is occurred due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain, which can affect a person's emotions, movements, and behaviour.

Epilepsy Definition

Symptom of Epilepsy

Epilepsy's primary symptom is frequent seizures. Seizures can disrupt the brain-coordinated process. The symptoms of epilepsy are listed below:

  1. Short-term confusion
  2. Rigid muscles
  3. Loss of consciousness
  4. Uncontrollable actions of the arms and legs
  5. Psychological signs like fear and anxiety

Types of Seizures

Doctors typically divide seizures into focal and generalized categories based on brain activity. Each type of seizure has a different set of symptoms.

1. Focal seizures

Focal seizures happen when one or more areas of one side of the brain experience unusual electrical brain activity. There are two different types of focal seizures:

1) Simple partial seizures:

There is no loss of consciousness during a simple partial seizure. This kind of seizure may cause an uncontrolled movement of an arm or leg, as well as mild signs, including tingling, vertigo, and flashing lights.

Simple partial seizures may result in the following:

  1. A strange, odd emotion that's difficult to define.
  2. Rigidity or twitching in a body part.
  3. A feeling that something has already happened.
  4. A rising sensation in your stomach.
  5. Strange smells and tastes.
  6. A strong feeling such as fear or joy.
  7. You feel tingling in your arms and legs.

2) Complex partial seizures:

Complex partial seizure causes a loss of consciousness. This kind of seizure could make you feel like you're dreaming. During a focal seizure, you might stare off toward space, react strangely to your surroundings, or make repetitive movements like rubbing your hands together, chewing, swallowing, or walking in circles. Children who have experienced complex focal seizures may experience auras before the seizures. The most typical aura includes impending doom, fear, or excitement.

You become unconscious and make abnormal body motions during a complex partial seizure, such as:

  1. Making odd noises
  2. Lip-smacking
  3. Rubbing hands
  4. Swaying your arms
  5. Picking or playing with clothing

2. Generalized seizures

A seizure that impacts each part of the brain is called a generalized seizure. There are six different types of generalized seizures.

1) Absence seizures:

A quick change in mental state is a symptom of absence seizure. When absence seizures occur, the face, mouth, move or eyes may blink. Usually, seizures do not last more than 30 seconds. After the seizure, it's possible that the kid won't remember what just happened and behaving as normal. This seizure can happen in clusters, up to 100 times per day, quickly making a person unconscious. Absence seizures begin between the age of 4 and 12 years.

2) Tonic seizures:

Muscles become tight during tonic seizures. Your back, arms, and legs are typically affected by this seizure, which might make you lose your balance and fall to the ground.

3) Atonic seizures:

Muscle control is lost during atonic seizures. The person may fall directly during an atonic seizure because it generally impacts the legs.

4) Clonic seizures:

During a clonic seizure, the patient loses consciousness and experiences muscle stiffness and jerks. Typically, the arms, face, & neck are impacted by this seizure. The children may feel tired, faces difficulty speaking or seeing, and experience severe headaches, exhaustion, or body aches during the postictal period. A clonic seizure typically lasts one to three minutes but can extend up to five minutes.

5) Myoclonic seizures:

During a myoclonic seizure, the patient experiences short shoulders, neck, or arm muscle twitches. This seizure can happen in clusters, up to 100 times per day, quickly making a person unconscious.

6) Tonic-clonic seizures:

The most dangerous form of epileptic seizure is a tonic-clonic seizure. It can cause a sudden loss of consciousness and stiffness, twitching, and shaking of the body. During it, the person can lose control of urine or start biting the tongue.

Risk Factors for Epilepsy

The factors that will cause epilepsy are described here:

1. Age:

Epilepsy can start at any age but commonly happens to small kids and older people.

2. Family history:

You may be more likely to have seizures if someone in your family already has epilepsy.

3. Head injury:

Some epilepsy symptoms are caused due to head injuries by using a seatbelt while driving and using a helmet while bicycling and doing activities that carry a high risk of head injuries can help reduce the chances of head injury.

4. Dementia:

The chance of epilepsy in older persons is increased by dementia.

5. Brain infections:

The chance of epilepsy increases if you have an infection like meningitis.

6. Seizures in young children:

Sometimes children experience seizures if they have high fevers. In most cases, children who experience seizures because of high fevers do not have a chance to develop epilepsy. If a kid has experienced a long fever-related seizure, has another neurological disorder, or has a family history of epilepsy, their risk of developing epilepsy increases.

Complications During Epilepsy

Having a seizure at particular times can result in harmful situations for you or other people.

1. Falling:

If you fall during a seizure, you may suffer from a head injury or fractured bone.

2. Drowning:

Epilepsy patients have 13 % - 19 % more chances of drowning in water than others because they can experience a seizure while swimming.

3. Complications during pregnancy:

Pregnancy epilepsy is dangerous for both the mother and the unborn child. If you have epilepsy and are thinking about getting pregnant, consult your doctor before you do so. Many epileptic women can conceive and deliver healthy babies. You'll need to take care of yourself and take medications throughout your pregnancy.

4. Car accidents:

If you have epilepsy while driving a car, an accident is possible.

5. Psychological problems:

Epilepsy patients are more likely to experience psychological issues, particularly sadness, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and actions.

First Aid for Seizures

Most seizures don't require immediate medical attention, and you can't stop a seizure once it's started.

1. First aid for minor seizure:

When a person with you is suffering a minor seizure, you can do the following steps:

  • Stay with the patient until the seizure is over and they awake.
  • Bring them to a secure location when they wake up and explain what happened.
  • Keep other people calm.
  • Be calm while you speak.
  • Check whether there is a medical bracelet.
  • Drop the patient home safely.

2. First aid for critical seizure:

When a person with you is suffering a critical seizure, you can do the following steps:

  • Try to stop the person's motions by holding them down.
  • Put any object in the patient's mouths
  • Give the patient food or drink until they awake.

3. First aid for tonic-clonic seizure:

When the person with you is suffering a tonic-clonic seizure, you can do the following things:

  • Bring the patient to the floor gently.
  • Clear harmful objects from the patient's clothes and surrounding.
  • Place a soft object under their head.
  • Take off their glasses.
  • Remove apparel that could block breathing, like a tie.

FAQs on Epilepsy

1. How can parents aid the kid who has epilepsy?


Most children who have epilepsy can live normal lives. To aid your child in living with epilepsy, ensure your child follows the neurologist's suggestions regarding:

  1. Taking any medications.
  2. Avoiding triggers (such as extreme stress, sleep deprivation, and some medications).
  3. Following special diets.
  4. Follow safety precautions while bathing or swimming.

Be sure that other adults looking after your child, such as relatives, teachers etc., know how to Keep your kids safe during a seizure.

2. How is epilepsy identified?


A pediatric neurologist is typically consulted when a kid has experienced a seizure. The neurologist will examine you, ask you questions, and prescribe tests to look for epilepsy. The tests performed to determine the type of epilepsy include:

  1. Blood tests and urine tests
  2. EEG
  3. VEEG
  4. CAT scan, MRI, and PET/MRI

3. How is epilepsy treated?


Epilepsy is generally treated using medications. Sometimes doctors suggest a particular diet, such as the ketogenic diet, if medications cannot control seizures. The high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet can help to reduce seizures. Doctors may advise VNS therapy also for difficult-to-control seizures.

4. When to visit the doctor?


Immediately contact a doctor if any of the following take place:

  1. You're pregnant.
  2. After consuming anti-seizure medication, you still experience seizures.
  3. You have diabetes.
  4. Your fever is very high.
  5. Consciousness doesn't come back after the seizure is over.

5. What are the triggers for seizures?


Many people with epilepsy say that seizures occur at random. Yet sometimes it can have a trigger, for example:

  1. Stress.
  2. Flashing lights.
  3. Lack of sleep.
  4. Alcohol consumption.
  5. Consumption of medications and illegal drugs.
  6. Women's monthly cycles.
  7. Waking up.

6. List out the risk factors for epilepsy.


The factors that will cause epilepsy are listed here:

  1. Premature birth.
  2. Mental disabilities.
  3. A stroke caused by an artery blockage.
  4. Birth trauma.
  5. Brain cancer.
  6. Fever-related seizures.
  7. Severe brain damage or an oxygen deficiency in the brain.
  8. Seizures in the first month of the newborn.
  9. Brain infections like meningitis or encephalitis.
  10. Seizures start soon after a head injury.
  11. Family history of epilepsy.
  12. Alzheimer's Disease.
  13. Brain injury.
  14. Changes in genes.
  15. Bleeding in the brain.
  16. .Unusual blood vessels.
  17. Unusual brain growth in the womb.
  18. .Infections (such as TB or HIV).

7. What are the possible side effects of epilepsy?


The brain's electrical activity is disturbed during epileptic seizures, which may directly or indirectly impact many body components. The following are possible epilepsy side effects:

  1. Challenges in learning.
  2. Injury from a fall while having a seizure.
  3. Injury while operating a vehicle or other machinery.
  4. Depression.
  5. Adverse effects of drugs.

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