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Epilepsy Awareness

Updated: Feb 15, 2023


Introduction

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder and affects more than 1% of the population. Epilepsy is not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of various underlying conditions such as brain tumors or head injuries. It can also be caused by genetic disorders, infections and metabolic problems. The word epilepsy means "to seize", which refers to the sudden, involuntary contraction of muscle groups (spasms). These seizures cause changes in behavior and consciousness and may be accompanied by convulsions or twitches that last from a few seconds up to several minutes. A person having an epileptic seizure will not remember what happened during that episode afterwards - although sometimes it can be possible recognise something before or after it happens because they have had experience with seizures before.


Epilepsy Awareness

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes seizures. These seizures can cause loss of consciousness, muscle twitching, or other abnormal movements.

Epilepsy is a group of disorders characterized by recurrent and unprovoked seizures that may be transient and mild or severe and long-lasting. The medical terms for epilepsy are: epilepsy, seizure disorder, convulsion disorder and epileptic syndromes.

The main symptoms of an epileptic seizure include:

  • Loss of awareness

  • Convulsions (involuntary jerking movements)

  • Staring spells (unresponsive appearance)

This is usually followed by one or more additional symptoms such as:

  • Loss of consciousness or passing out

  • Changes in behavior such as confusion or disorientation

  • Uncontrolled drooling from the mouth

  • Repeated blinking or eye rolling with eyes closed

Myths and Facts

Myth: People with epilepsy can’t drive.

Fact: Epilepsy does not prevent people from driving, but their license will be restricted to only driving a car if a doctor says that it is safe for them to do so. The DMV will also require special documentation from a doctor and keep track of any seizures you have while driving.

Myth: People with epilepsy are violent or unpredictable.

Fact: Epilepsy does not cause people to be violent or unpredictable in any way other than the fact that they may have one or more seizures that could injure themselves or others if they were to fall on someone else during a seizure.


Types of Epilepsy Management

  • Medication

  • Surgery

  • Electrical stimulation

  • Diet and lifestyle changes

Types of Treatment

Treatment for epilepsy depends on the type of seizures you have, your age and other factors. Treatment may include:

  • Anticonvulsants are used to prevent your body from having more seizures or to reduce their frequency and severity. They're often prescribed in combination with other therapies.

  • Steroids can be helpful if you have a specific type of seizure in which swelling around the brain is involved (tonic-clonic seizure).

  • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) involves implanting a device under the skin near your collarbone. It uses mild electrical pulses to regulate electrical signals between nerves in your brain that may be causing seizures.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is an option for some people with epilepsy; it involves learning ways to change how you think about and respond to situations that trigger an episode so that they don't cause as many problems as before

Triggers

Of course, triggers are not the same for every person. What may trigger a seizure in one person may not affect someone else at all. But many people with epilepsy have certain things that can set off their seizures more easily than others. These are called triggers, and avoiding them can be one way to lower the chances of having a seizure.

Triggers include:

  • Caffeine

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Alcohol

  • Stress

  • Flashing lights

Conclusion

The goal of this article was to provide a basic understanding of epilepsy. We hope you enjoyed learning about it as much as we did while compiling the information you need!

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