What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a physical condition that occurs when there is a sudden, brief change in how the brain works. When brain cells are not working properly, a person’s consciousness, movement, or actions may be altered for a short time. These physical changes are called epileptic seizures. Epilepsy is therefore sometimes called a seizure disorder. Epilepsy affects people in all nations and of all races.
Causes of Epilepsy
There are no identifiable causes of epilepsy, causes may vary by age of the person.
Following are the causes: -
- Genetic cause: People with no causes of epilepsy may have a genetic form of epilepsy, which are categorized by the type of seizure experienced or the part of the brain that is affected, run in the families.
- Brain conditions: Infections in the brain are also common causes of epilepsy, initially the infection can treated with medications, but infection can leave scarring on the brain that can cause seizers in future.
- Head injuries: Head trauma as a result of accidents can cause epilepsy. People of all ages can have head injuries as in young adults it is more often.
- Prenatal injury: Prenatal Injuries: Before birth, babies’ brain is a sensitive organ that can be damaged from several factors, such as infection to the mother, not taking proper diet by mother or oxygen deficiencies
Physical causes of epilepsy:
- Space occupying lesion
- السكتة الدماغية
- Very raised blood pressure
- Tuberous sclerosis
Metabolic causes of epilepsy
- Hypoglycemia (low sugar level)
- Hyperglycemia (high sugar level)
- Hypoxia low oxygen level)
- Hyponatraemia (low sodium level)
- Hypernatraemia (high sodium level)
- Liver diseases
- Alcohol withdrawal
Symptoms of Epilepsy
- Eyes are generally open.
- The person may not appear to be breathing. The person is often breathing deeply after an episode.
- The return to consciousness is gradual and should occur within a few moments.
- Loss of urine is common.
- Often people will be confused briefly after a generalized seizure.
Surgery is most commonly done when tests show that your seizures originate in a small, well-defined area of your brain that doesn’t interfere with vital functions like speech, language or hearing. In these types of surgeries, your doctor removes the area of the brain that’s causing the seizures. If your seizures originate in a part of your brain that can’t be removed, your doctor may recommend a different sort of surgery in which surgeons make a series of cuts in your brain. These cuts are designed to prevent seizures from spreading to other parts of the brain. Other surgical approaches are reserved for specific types of epilepsy and are most often performed in young children. One approach is to remove a large part of one side of the brain (a hemispherectomy); another is to cut the nerve fibres connecting the two sides of the brain (a corpus colostomy).
Vagus nerve stimulation:
This therapy involves a device called a vagus nerve stimulator that’s implanted underneath the skin of your chest like a heart pacemaker. Wires from the stimulator are wrapped around the vagus nerve in your neck. The battery-powered device delivers short bursts of electrical energy to the brain through the vagus nerve. It’s not clear how this inhibits seizures, but the device can reduce seizures by 20 to 40 percent and completely control seizures in about 5 percent of people.