Factors causing epilepsy, tips to deal with seizures are explained here
It is disorder of the brain numerous impulses passing through our brain Cells all the time. When there is a disruption or improper conduction of these electrical impulses, a person suffers with a seizure.
Symptoms of a seizure are characterized by sudden twitching and uncontrollable jerking motions of the arms and legs, followed by loss of consciousness. In some individuals seizures are not so severe.
Causes of Epilepsy
Many factors can cause epilepsy. The onset of seizures usually begins during childhood. Seizures are most common in children and elderly people who are above 65 years of age. But the condition can affect people of all ages. However, in some people who are affected by the condition, the cause remains largely unknown or unidentified. Here are a few factors that can cause seizures:
- Family history of epilepsy, risk is more, although genetic inheritance plays only a partial role in causing epilepsy.
- Prolonged high fevers during childhood.
- Head injuries and brain damage due to accidents.
- A stroke or other diseases of the blood vessels can injure your brain or deprive it of oxygen leading to seizures.
- Brain tumors can cause epilepsy, although this is very rare.
- Brain infections, such as Meningitis.
Rules to Follow
- Take epilepsy medication everyday as advised by doctor even if you are not having seizures. regularly
- Taking medications regularly is also important to prevent seizures.
- If forget, to take a dose, take as soon as possible or realize it. If more than 24 hours have lapsed since last dose, seek doctor’s advice.
- Do not take any additional epilepsy medications other than the ones prescribed by doctor.
- Never discontinue medications without doctor’s approval.
- When on seizure medication, ask doctor before taking medications for other illnesses.
- Do not drink alcohol. It can provoke seizures and can interfere with the effectiveness of seizure medications.
- If in pregnancy decisions about taking medicine during pregnancy must be made by and doctor , after talking about the risks and the benefits.
Tips to deal with Seizures
If you notice anyone having a seizure, remember the following information:
- Do not panic—deal with the situation calmly.
- Do not attempt to move the person.
- Do not attempt to prevent the person from shaking or moving.
- Do not wake the person by shaking or shouting at them.
- Move objects that can cause injury out of the person’s way.
- Gently roll the person onto one side so any fluid in the mouth can safely come out. Put something soft under his or her head. Loosen tight neck wear.
- Never put anything into the person’s mouth. If you fear that he or she may swallow her tongue—don’t. It is physically impossible to do that.
- Be with the person until medical help arrives. Allow the person to rest or sleep.
Coping with Seizures
Epilepsy is treatable, controllable and preventable. With the right treatment, some people soon stop getting seizures. Between seizures, a person with epilepsy is no different from anyone else—he or she is absolutely normal in every sense of the word.
World Epilepsy Day
Epilepsy occurs due to abnormal discharges from the brain. It can occur at any age. Children and adolescent are more likely to have epilepsy. The day is observed on March 26th every year.
Epilepsy: Surgery helps lead normal life
In what comes as a worrying fact on the World Epilepsy day, around 10 million Indians suffer from the disorder, which is characterized by multiple seizures. India adds five lakh new cases of epilepsy in children every year. As many as 30 per cent of these children, like Kanika Singhal, do not respond well to medication, that is meant to control the seizures that characterize this disorder. "At (the age of) four, shaking started in the legs, spread to the whole body. It used to happen at regular intervals," said Sanjay Singhal, Kanika's father. Three years after running pillar to post, her parents brought her to AIIMS, where doctors suggested a rare form of surgery that would switch off a part of her brain.
According to Dr Manjari Tripathi, the surgery called hemispherectomy is effective for 20 per cent of epileptic patients who do not get better with medical therapy. "What the surgery does is that it disconnects the harmful part of the brain from the rest of the brain. Rest of the brain takes over the function of this part," said Dr Tripathi. Once disconnected, these parts of the brain stop functioning, so the seizures stop as well. There are side effects like weakness in the hand. However, Dr Tripathi says in cases like Kanika's, the benefits outweigh the risks. She also clarifies that it is not meant for all those who suffer from epilepsy. "It should not be done for epilepsies which come from a very small part of the brain. It should be done only on larger parts," she said. Kanika has not had a seizure since the surgery. With more 10 million Indians who suffer from epilepsy, the crucial thing is to not lose time. The sooner treatment begins the better.
In fact, epilepsy is treatable in most cases, but in India, 70 to 90 per cent of patients go without treatment in rural and under-served areas. Doctors say it's time we have a national Programme for epilepsy.
Source: IBN- New Delhi