Epilepsy Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Epilepsy Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Epilepsy Definition

Epilepsy or epilepsy is a condition that causes sufferers to have repeated seizures. Approximately 50 million people of the world’s population are people with epilepsy. Data taken from WHO records show that the growth of epilepsy sufferers annually reaches 2.4 million people. Nearly 80 percent of people with epilepsy live in countries with low and middle income per capita.

The effectiveness of epilepsy treatment in a patient is 70 percent. This figure is quite high, but 75 percent of people with epilepsy living in low and middle-income per capita countries do not get the treatment they need.

Status Epilepticus

Status epilepticus is a condition when people with epilepsy have seizures for more than 30 minutes or experience a series of short seizures.
When that happens, the patient will usually be in a state of unconsciousness. Urgent action is needed to treat it, because status epilepticus can cause permanent brain damage – even death.

Epilepsy Diagnosis

A person can only be suspected of having an epileptic condition if he has had more than one seizure. The doctor will collect facts about the characteristics of the patient’s seizures. The patient should already have a record of the characteristics of the seizures experienced, based on information from people who have seen the occurrence of the patient’s seizures.

In addition, the doctor will ask the patient’s medical history, lifestyle, and medications that the patient may be taking. If the information collected is not sufficient to make a diagnosis, the doctor can perform other examination methods, such as:

  • Electroencephalogram or EEG. This is a common test used to diagnose epilepsy. This examination is done to determine the electrical activity in the brain, including if there is interference.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This examination uses radio waves and a magnetic field to obtain detailed images of the brain. In this way, doctors can detect conditions in the brain, such as tumors or defects, that can trigger seizures.

Epilepsy Symptom

The main symptom of epilepsy is more than one or repeated seizures. The characteristics of a seizure depend on which part of the brain is disturbed first. Although the characteristics are different, most sufferers experience repeated seizures with the same pattern.

Based on disorders of the brain, epilepsy is divided into two, namely partial and general.

Partial Seizures

In partial or focal seizures, the disturbance is only experienced in part of the brain. Partial seizures are further divided into two types, namely:

1. Simple partial seizures

At the time of experiencing a simple partial seizure, the patient does not lose consciousness. The symptoms of a simple partial seizure are:

  • There was an uncomfortable feeling that was hard to describe.
  • Sufferers feel they have been in the same situation (déjà vu).
  • Sufferers feel a tense sensation in the stomach, like being on an exciting ride in an amusement park.
  • Tingling in the hands and feet.
  • Tasting or inhaling unusual odors.
  • The limb feels stiff or even jerks.

The above symptoms are known as warning signals. This signal arises to warn the patient that a seizure will occur, so that the patient can tell his surroundings or move to a safer location.

In simple partial seizures, the part of the body that experiences the seizure depends on which part of the brain is affected. So, seizures do not only occur in the hands or feet. In fact, there are patients who do not experience physical seizures but experience psychological seizures. For example, feeling very excited or scared all of a sudden.

2. Complex partial seizures

When experiencing complex partial seizures, the patient will experience loss of consciousness. Patients also can not remember the seizures that occurred. The symptoms of complex partial seizures are:

  • Rubbing hands.
  • Making strange noises.
  • Move hands uncontrollably.
  • Picking clothes repeatedly.
  • Repeatedly chewing or swallowing movements.

3. General Seizures

In generalized seizures, symptoms occur throughout the body and are caused by disorders that affect all parts of the brain. Some of the symptoms of generalized seizures that usually occur, namely:

  • tonic seizures. Causes muscles to stiffen. Usually occurs in the muscles of the back, legs, and arms so that the sufferer is prone to falling and getting injured.
  • Atonic seizures. It causes muscles to relax and the patient falls.
  • Clonic seizures. The muscle movements are jerky and repetitive, usually affecting the muscles of the neck, face, and arms.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures. Patients experience generalized seizures until unconscious while wetting the bed or biting the tongue.
  • Myoclonic seizures. Brief jerking muscle movements, or twitching of the arm and leg muscles.
  • Absence or petite mal seizures. Usually experienced by children. Loss of consciousness for a few seconds or moving lips with a blank stare.

Epilepsy Treatment

Most epilepsy is not curable. However, patients can take drugs to prevent seizures. The drugs commonly prescribed by doctors are antiepileptic drugs (OAE). OAE proved effective because people with epilepsy can experience a drastic reduction in the frequency of seizures.

The doctor will consider the patient’s age, condition, and frequency of seizures in determining the type of OAE to be given. The OAE given can be adjusted to the drugs that the patient may be taking to treat other diseases so that the performance of the two does not intersect. OAE should be consumed regularly.

OAE side effects, including:

  • Sleepy
  • Headache
  • Difficult to concentrate
  • Decreased bone density
  • Rashes appear on the skin
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation of the body’s organs
  • Feeling depressed
  • Feeling suicidal

If after taking OAE, the patient experiences mood swings, depression, or feels suicidal, consult a doctor immediately.

Brain surgery

If OAEs are not effective in reducing seizures, your doctor may recommend brain surgery. Brain surgery is performed to remove the part of the brain that produces seizures. This may not completely relieve the seizures, but the patient will be able to take fewer or smaller OAEs.

Brain surgery has no effect on vital functions, such as speech, language skills, motor function, vision or hearing. However, surgical risks remain, namely memory problems and postoperative stroke. For that, the patient should discuss with the doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of this action if this method is recommended.

Living with Epilepsy

Epilepsy affects the lives of sufferers in different ways. However, there are several steps that can be taken so that patients can carry out their routines normally, including:

  • Know the triggers for seizures. The more you know about seizure triggers and how to avoid them, the better-controlled seizures will be.
  • Take medication regularly. OAE is effective in treating epilepsy in 70 percent of sufferers. Discuss with your doctor a treatment plan that is suitable for your condition.
  • Do regular checkups. We recommend that you already have a specific schedule for the examination.
  • Self-care. Adopt a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcoholic beverages. Discuss with your doctor about the diet that suits your condition.

Epilepsy Reason

Based on the cause, there are two types of epilepsy, namely idiopathic and symptomatic epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy is a type of epilepsy in which the cause is unknown. There are allegations that this condition is caused by heredity. Most cases of epilepsy that occur are idiopathic epilepsy.

In contrast to idiopathic epilepsy, symptomatic epilepsy is an epileptic condition whose cause can be identified. Several conditions can cause symptomatic epilepsy, including:

  • Cerebrovascular disease (problems with the blood vessels of the brain), such as stroke.
  • Brain tumor.
  • Severe head injury.
  • Drug abuse.
  • Alcoholic drink addiction.
  • Infectious diseases of the brain, such as meningitis.
  • The growth of some parts of the brain is impaired.
  •  Problems that arise during the delivery process, such as the baby strangling the umbilical cord so that it had experienced a lack of oxygen.

Triggers for Seizures

For many people with epilepsy, seizures can occur without an obvious trigger. However, there are several factors that can be categorized as triggers for seizures, namely:

  • Stress.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Drug abuse.
  • Menstruation.
  • Seeing lights or flashing lights. In rare cases, only five percent of people with epilepsy have this photosensitive epilepsy condition. Epilepsy & Seizure Disorder | Clinical Presentation With Medscape

Leave a Comment