Epilepsy is a CNS (Neurological) condition that affects the brain activity. It causes seizures, temporary episodes of twitching with convulsions. A Seizure is caused when the brain’s electrical impulses act abnormally and pass irregular signals. Sometimes the person may experience loss of consciousness. But, pin pointedly epilepsy can be defined as “two or more unprovoked seizures”.
Epilepsy makes all the activities a bit risky as the person does not know when the seizure may strike. However, epilepsy can well be managed with medications and other treatments. Reducing risks factors and triggers may help the person to manage epilepsy and reduce the episodes.
A Seizure is the primary symptom of epilepsy. But, there are different types of seizures with different symptoms.
- Face twitching
- Loss of conscious
- Affected speech
- Temporary loss of bladder and bowel control
- Twitching in all body parts especially in arms and legs
- Involuntary Jerking movements in the hands and legs
- Psychic symptoms such as anxiety and fear
Most seizures will last for few minutes.
A Neurologist would perform a complete physical and neurological examination to diagnose the cause of the seizures. The following tests are performed usually to diagnose epilepsy.
- An Electroencephalogram (EEG) is performed to measure the electrical activity of the brain
- Collecting Cerebrospinal fluid for analysis
- CT, MRI scans of the head
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Neuropsychological tests
- Liver kidney function test
- Complete blood count
- Blood glucose
- Tests to diagnose the presence of any infectious diseases
Common causes of Epilepsy by age:
In Newborns, lack of oxygen supply during birth, intracranial hemorrhage, maternal drug use, low levels of electrolytes, brain malformations are known to be the common causes of seizures.
In Infants & Children, Infections, brain tumor, fever
In Adults & children, Progressive brain disease, congenital conditions, head trauma, genetic factors
In Seniors, strokes, trauma and Alzheimer’s disease
Trigger factors for Epilepsy
- Fever and stress
- Alcohol, drugs, medicines, and caffeine
- Overeating, skipping meals
Treatment for Epilepsy
Most of the people are treated with anticonvulsants to become seizure free. Other combined medications may also be administered to reduce the frequency and intensity of epilepsy.
When there is no improvement with anti-epileptic medications, then the neurologist may advise surgery, therapies like vagus nerve stimulation, ketogenic diet etc.
Dr. Shyam Sundar K is an ace Neurosurgeon in Chennai who has been treating all kinds of brain diseases. He provides excellent epilepsy treatment in Chennai according to the age, severity, and frequency of seizures.
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