Epilepsy is a condition that is characterized by abnormal electrical activity within the brain; these tend to result in seizures. While it should be noted that people who have seizures do not necessarily struggle with epilepsy, this condition is associated with recurrent seizures that tend to affect many facets of a person’s life.
There are certain instances where people have experienced recurrent seizures (called non-epileptic seizures) that were brought about by stress or a range of other psychological issues and when a diagnosis is in the process of being made, these can actually lead medical professionals to assume that epilepsy is at fault. There are certain clues that will identify them as pseudo-seizures, however, including responses to epileptic drugs.
The Causes of Epilepsy
In order to understand epilepsy, it is important for people to understand a bit about how the brain functions. Brain cells tend to communicate with one another by sending signals to each other in certain patterns. When a person is struggling with epilepsy, these signals tend to get out of control and this could result in “electrical storms” which produce the seizures. In some cases, the seizures could be specific to a certain part of the brain, while in other instances they could end up being more generalized; this varies from person to person depending on what type of epilepsy they have.
Epilepsy is a condition that has become fairly common, with up to 1% of people struggling with it. In many instances, this condition has been brought about by some kind of trauma to the brain, although the causes of many conditions are not known. Some of the most common causes for this injury to the brain includes; oxygen deprivation during birth, brain tumors, head injuries resulting from an accident, infections, strokes and abnormal levels of blood sugar or sodium.
In terms of seizures, there are a variety of situations that can actually trigger them, including flashing lights, lack of sleep and certain substances, such as cocaine or heroin. Individuals suffering from diabetes can also suffer from seizures related to blood sugar levels, although these can be prevented through careful monitoring of these levels.
The Symptoms of Epilepsy
The symptoms of this condition range from generalized seizures to petit mal seizures. Firstly, generalized seizures tend to affect all areas of a person’s brain; these are often called grand mal seizures. When someone is experiencing this type of seizure, they tend to have their eyes open and they could also stop breathing. It can take anywhere between a few minutes and a few hours for the person to fully regain their composure following this type of seizure.
Partial seizures occur when only a very specific facet of the brain is involved and only a very specific area of the body is affected. Lastly, petit mal seizures are characterized by repetitive blinking or an impairment in their consciousness and they tend to last only a few seconds. There are people who have these seizures throughout the day.
In order to treat this condition, professionals tend to turn to drug therapy, although many people aid their treatment by following a very specific diet. Surgery is another option that tends to be used when neither the drugs nor the diets are working, although this will depend on the type of epilepsy that a person suffers from, as well as the severity of the condition.
It is important for individuals to deal with the social and the psychological facets of this condition, not merely the physical. It is generally advised that those who are struggling with a particular facet of their lives due to this condition should seek out support as soon as possible.
Epilepsy is a challenging condition to deal with and it can be quite restricting on a person’s life; for this reason, individuals should ensure that they have the support they require to deal with all of the challenges associated with it. For more information on epilepsy, please visit: