Epilepsy: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
- 10 Jun 18:03
- Epilepsy - is
- What provokes an attack?
- How to recognize
- How to treat epilepsy
Epilepsy is known for a long time, but only recently it has ceased to be compared to madness and obsession. This disease is a consequence of the damage to the nervous system, which, on the face of the, manifests itself in the form of periodic attacks accompanied by seizures and convulsions, which may result in fainting or a state close to coma may occur.
Epilepsy is an
Epileptic attack can occur only once and never be disturbed or become a common companion to normal life. Among all the adult population of the earth's step, at least 2% experienced at least once in a life an epileptic attack. Of this number of patients, only in the quarter find the cause of the attack using magnetic resonance imaging or electroencephalography, most often it is brain fibrosis or any other pathology of its electrical activity. This can be a consequence of a craniocerebral injury, maternity injury. There is a certain proportion of epilepsies that have become due to complications of colds and viral diseases( for example, meningitis, causing the disease and parasites that penetrate the brain, sometimes epilepsy is inherited, but if no damage has been found in the brain and none of its relatives had it beforenot suffering, the disease will be called idiopathic. In fact, it is the recognition of doctors that there is a disease, and its cause can not be found.
This last type most often occurs in minors under the age of 14. Particularly distinguish attacks in infants under 2 years of age, because they still have an objective cause - a defect in the brain, an excessive body temperature or a serious metabolic disorder, but attacks in people older than 25 develop after stroke, injury, and development of tumors.
What provokes an attack?
Among the causesthe onset of an attack doctors are usually called:
- Repeated flashes of light and color;
- Repeat sounds;
- Bright changing pictures, video effects;
- Touches some parts of the body;
- poisoning of any kind;
- Acceptance of alcohol, narcotic drugs;
- Admission of certain types of medication;
- Oxygen fasting;
- Hypoglycemic attack - a drop in blood sugar.
Interestingly, the last three reasons can cause an epileptic seizure even in a completely healthy person. Unfortunately, in our life all of the above items happen to be in excess, so you can not completely protect the epileptic, especially the small one. Stroboscopes at dance parties, popular music, films and video games, street outdoor advertising, indoors, certain medicines, diet and irregular nutrition, environmental pollution, and stroke in public transport at peak times - all this increases the risk of an attackcan happen right here and now.
Why is this happening? It is believed that the brain tissue of the epileptics has a much greater sensitivity. So standard signals for a healthy person are harmless, and for patients with epilepsy, any chemical stimulus, including the organism itself, becomes the cause of the attack.
How to recognize
Often epilepticus and its environment and are not suspected of being infected even before the first attack. For the first time it is quite difficult to establish its cause and specific stimulus, but here the signs of its approach are practically the same:
- Headache a few days before the attack;
- Sleep disturbance;
- Nervousness and irritability;
- Poor appetite;
- Bad mood.
The worst thing is that after a fit, a person may not remember him, complain of fatigue, lethargy. During the trial, he had tense muscles and there was no reaction to anything - the pupils did not expand / narrow, the patient does not hear sounds and does not react to touches and even to pain.
But this is a sign of a full attack, but there are also so-called small ones - at that time, the person does not fall, but he may have a faint, his face shaking violently, the patient makes strange and unusual things to him, repeats one movement many times. After a small fit, the epileptic also does not remember anything about events and behaves like nothing.
Also, the attacks differ in the location of the affected areas of the brain:
- focal - a small focus of brain damage;
- General - the whole brain is damaged;
- Throat - amazed area that is responsible for feelings, such as a sense of smell;
- Mental - in combination with mental deviations;
- Jackson's - the assumption begins with one part of the body;
- Psychomotor - preliminary loss of orientation in space, confusion of consciousness;
- Convulsive or tonic-clonic - directly major attacks, which are considered as epileptic, are accompanied by seizures.
So, if a man gets confused, he watches one glassy eyes, he has a slightly stiff face, and he does not react to anything, but does not fall and does not jerk - it's a small attack or absence. If the patient loses consciousness, he begins seizures, his head turns sharply, his teeth are compressed and he is spelled unwittingly, but after all this comes in - it is a consular or convulsive attack.
If seizures do not stop and symptoms get worse, this is an epileptic status, a special condition for the strong influence of electrical activity on the brain. In this case, immediately call an ambulance and make every effort to ensure that during convulsions the patient did not injure himself. Without medical assistance with epileptic status, a lethal outcome is possible.
No doctor will be diagnosed with one seizure. They should be at least two, and also the patient should not have other illnesses that can manifest themselves in the form of attacks.
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Unfortunately, the main risk group is teenagers, among them epilepsy is manifested especially often and strongly. The second risk group, oddly enough, is elderly people over the age of 60.An average person has the slightest chance of becoming an epileptic if he did not have craniocerebral traumas and strokes. Small children under two years of age are prone to one-time seizures, similar to epileptic symptoms, but the diagnosis is almost never confirmed.
Diagnosis of epilepsy occurs only after a complete human examination and analysis of other diseases. Based on the data obtained, as well as collecting oral history of possible similar diseases among relatives, after two or more attacks the diagnosis is confirmed or canceled. The most important researches are computer and magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography, electrocardiography. Also, the most thoroughly check the functioning of the kidneys, liver, do a biochemical blood test. The most rare and serious study is lumbar puncture to detect brain damage.
The specifics of the diagnosis of epilepsy are such that, as a rule, the patient himself is almost incapable of informing the physician of his condition, as he usually does not remember anything that happened during the episode. Therefore, it is very important for the doctor to listen to the details from their witness.
How to treat epilepsy
To date, there are several ways to alleviate life suffering from epilepsy. If the treatment is correct and the patient adheres to the recommendations of doctors, the seizures go away.
With a precise definition of the brain's fraction, in which there is a pathology, it is possible to reduce the electrical activity in a medicine medically. Of course, with large volumes of drugs and an integrated approach, there are certain side effects, but they can also be leveled.
Unfortunately, there is also a special category of epilepsies for which you have to make a choice - to drink medicines at risk for health or to wait for an attack without them - these are pregnant and mothers. To prevent attacks, they need ongoing medical supervision and treatment with concerted medications.
There is also a more radical way - surgical intervention and removal of the affected area of tissues. But this is too risky and the permission for such an operation is not easy, and not every neurosurgeon will do it.
The best way is to find the cause of the disease and neutralize it. If this is a problem with the blood composition or infectious disease, then the person has all the chances to be cured. On the other hand, some types of seizures are incurable, for example, small, and there is no cure for them.