Nervous System


It is a disorder of the brain that causes recurring seizures which occur due to a temporary change in the electrical activity within it. It is diagnosed when you experience two or more seizures. The seizures are not caused by a temporary medical condition (such as a high temperature). Epilepsy can affect people in different ways. The types and symptoms of seizures vary from person to person.

It can be caused by various conditions affecting the brain, and in many cases the cause is unknown. Some of the causes include:

  • brain attack.
  • Brain tumor.
  • Traumatic brain injury or head injury.
  • Brain infection from parasites (eg, malaria), viruses (eg: influenza, dengue, Zika) and bacteria.
  • Lack of oxygen in the brain (eg: what happens during childbirth).
  • Some genetic disorders (eg: Down syndrome).
  • Other neurological diseases (eg: Alzheimer's disease).

Types of seizures:
There are many types, and the patient may suffer from more than one type, and seizures are classified into two groups:
Generalized seizures affecting both sides of the brain:

  • Loss of consciousness “Minor seizures”: These can cause rapid eye blinking or staring at anything for a few seconds without moving.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures "major epileptic seizures": which cause loss of consciousness and fall to the ground with muscle spasms, and the sufferer may feel tired and exhausted after the seizure ends.

Focal seizures in only one area of the brain (partial seizures):

  • Focal simple seizures: affect a small part of the brain, where they can cause twitching or a change in some senses (eg: strange taste or smell).
  • Focal complex seizures: They can leave the person confused or stunned by not being able to respond to questions or directions for up to a few minutes.
  • Secondary generalized seizures: begin in one part of the brain, but then spread to both sides of the brain. (The person first has a focal seizure followed by a generalized seizure) The seizures may last for a few minutes.

Seizure Triggers:
For many people, seizures occur randomly, but sometimes they can have a trigger (the trigger does not cause epilepsy but does increase the possibility of seizures, such as:

  • Pressure nervous.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Not taking epilepsy medications as prescribed.Certain medicines and prohibited drugs.
  • In women, menstrual periods.
  • Flashing lights (uncommon).
  • physical stress.
  • Certain foods (caffeine is a common trigger).
  • Drought.

Signs of a seizure depend on the type of seizure. Possible symptoms include:

  • Loss of awareness or consciousness.
  • Involuntary tremors and spasms.
  • Staring at anything and not moving.
  • Strange sensations (such as a feeling of bloating in the abdomen, unusual smells or tastes, and a tingling feeling in the arms and legs).

When to call the emergency or to see a doctor:
Not all seizures are emergencies unless:

  • When seizures occur for the first time.
  • The seizure lasted more than 5 minutes.
  • If the person was injured during the seizure or had trouble breathing during the seizure.
  • Having more than one seizure in a row.

There are many treatments a person can take or take to stop or reduce seizures. The most common epilepsy treatments are:

  • Anti-seizure medications: These are medications prescribed by a doctor that reduce the spread of seizures in the brain.
  • Surgery: When seizures come from one area of the brain (focal seizures), surgery to remove that area may stop future seizures or make it easier to control them with medication.
  • Other treatments when not responding to the previous methods: These include vagus nerve stimulation where an electrical device is placed or implanted under the skin to control seizures.
  • Following a special diet (such as the keto diet) that can help control seizures.

Some of the most popular ways to reduce your chances of developing epilepsy:

  • Reducing the chances of traffic injuries to prevent brain injuries by riding safely: by using seat belts, child seats, bicycle helmets, and motorcycle helmets.
  • Reducing the chances of stroke and heart disease by eating healthy food, exercising and not smoking.
  • Taking vaccinations, as they reduce the chances of infection, which may sometimes lead to epilepsy.
  • Always washing hands, especially when preparing food, to avoid getting infected with Cysticercosis, which is the most common cause of epilepsy worldwide. (An intestinal parasitic infection caused by tapeworms can be prevented by good hygiene practices when preparing food.)
  • Maintaining health during pregnancy by maintaining regular follow-up appointments in primary care centers, as some problems during pregnancy and childbirth can lead to epilepsy.

Tips for people with epilepsy:

  • Adhere to take the medication regularly.
  • Talk to your doctor when you have questions.
  • Consult a physician before taking other medications or supplements.
  • Follow a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Identify the triggers of seizures (such as: bright or flashing lights) and avoid them as much as possible.
  • Keep a record of seizures.
  • Get enough sleep, at least 7-8 hours.
  • Reduce stress as much as possible.
  • Avoid sports injuries that can increase the risk of seizures.
  • Do not use tobacco or other substances.
  • Cover any sharp or protruding edges or corners of furniture in the home.
  • Do not close the room or bathroom door.

Last Update : 20 August 2023 01:10 PM
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