Symptoms of epilepsy?
Epilepsy results due to abnormal activity in the brain. This results in symptoms depending on the area of brain involvement. The major symptoms may include uncontrolled jerking movements of arms and legs. Loss of consciousness and awareness, temporary confusion, staring spells, and stiff muscles, loss of consciousness or awareness may occur in Symptoms such as déjà vu, fear, or anxiety can be a manifestation of epilepsy. Symptoms vary from person to person. In most cases, the person affected will have the same type of symptoms each time.
How is a diagnosis of epilepsy made?
Your presenting symptoms may guide your doctor to make a correct diagnosis. Detailed neurological examination and certain blood tests to exclude diseases that mimic epilepsy may be required. Electra encephalogram or EEG can help to confirm the diagnosis or to categorize the type of epilepsy. In certain cases, an MRI of the brain may be necessary to rule out structural changes in the brain. Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder caused by an imbalance of nerve-signaling neurotransmitters. The brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures. Periods of abnormal behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness may occur besides jerking movements of the body. Anyone can develop epilepsy. Epilepsy can impact both genders at any age. February 13 is International Epilepsy Day.
Causes of epilepsy?
There is no cause found in almost half the cases. Certain genes may make you more susceptible to a particular form of epilepsy. Hence, in some, epilepsy could run in families. Head injuries can result in epilepsy. Stroke is a leading cause of epilepsy in middle-aged and above. Brain tumors or vascular malformations of the brain can cause epilepsy. Meningoencephalitis due to tuberculosis or HIV infection or certain parasitic infections can lead to epilepsy. Prenatal injuries in the form of infection, poor nutrition, or oxygen deficiencies can cause epilepsy in the child. Developmental disorders like autism can cause epilepsy in children.
Complications of epilepsy?
If you fall during epilepsy, it can cause head injury If you have seizures during swimming or bathing in deep waters, it can lead to drowning. Seizures during driving can lead to accidents. People with epilepsy are at increased risk of emotional problems like anxiety, and depression. Certain life-threatening complications like status epileptics or sudden unexpected death in epilepsy are known.
If I have epilepsy, can I have a normal pregnancy?
Most women can have a normal pregnancy. It is important to talk with your doctor before you get pregnant. There should be enough time to check your anti seizure medications and change it if necessary. If you are healthy and your epilepsy was under control during pregnancy, chances are very good that the baby would be healthy, In most cases, you can breastfeed the baby. Make sure that you get adequate sleep.
Treatment for epilepsy?
Taking medications strictly as per your doctor’s advice is significant. Make sure that you do not stop medications or reduce doses on your own. Many may require medications for a few years. The ketogenic diet, deep brain stimulation, and responsive microstimulation are some recent modalities.
Potential future treatments?
Continuous stimulation of the seizure onset zone, minimally invasive surgery Transcranial magnetic stimulation, and vagus nerve stimulation are a few modalities that can have tremendous potential.
How can you keep your child from having more seizures?
Make sure that the medications are administered exactly as per your doctor’s advice. Do not stop medications or reduce doses on your own. If there are side effects or intolerance, inform your doctor and get the necessary changes done. Make sure that the child gets enough sleep and eats a healthy diet, and reduce screen time as must as possible. Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder Correct treatment, lifestyle changes, and regular follow up with your doctor can certainly make your life comfortable and seizure-free.