Epilepsy

Epilepsy

Abnormal movement (seizures) is the main symptom of epilepsy. They occur due to unusual electrical activity in the brain. But not all people who have seizures suffer from epilepsy. Epilepsy consists of several disorders that can cause repeated seizures. Pseudoseizures are non-epileptic seizures. They are not caused by irregular electrical activity in the brain. They can be caused by stress or philological issues. Because they look similar as the true seizures, it is very hard to diagnose epilepsy. If a patient doesn’t react on epileptic drugs and his EEG readings are normal, he doesn’t have epilepsy. A patient who experiences provoked seizures, may not need a treatment. They are caused by: low blood sugar, high fever, drug or alcohol abuse, low blood sodium or trauma. 

Epilepsy affects about 0.5% and 1% of the population. Just in the US, 2.5 million people have epilepsy. Also, 9% of the Americans will experience a seizure during their life. Epilepsy occurs due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Brain cells communicate through electrical impulses. In a case of a seizure, they send or receive abnormal impulses, which causes abnormal movement. In that case, brain cells create an ‘’electrical storm’’. They can be in the whole brain or just within a specific part of the brain. This depends on a type of epilepsy.

Seizures are just symptoms. There are several types of them. It is important that a doctor diagnose the type of epilepsy, not just a type of seizures. In order to control seizures, a patient must take special drugs. Also, a diet, used along medications is useful. If drugs don’t help, a patient may need a surgery.