Epilepsy- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy/Mirgi is a chronic neurological disorder that can affect people across all age groups. According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, it can be described as a brain condition causing recurrent and unprovoked seizures in a person. These seizures are caused by abnormally excessive and hypersynchronous brain activity that can make a person lose awareness or sensations and exhibit unusual behavior. Epilepsy can affect both men and women across all ethnicities, races or age groups.

What are the common symptoms of epilepsy?

The most common symptom of epilepsy is seizures. There are different types of seizures that have different symptoms/manifestations.

What are the different types of seizures?

There are two main types of seizures:

Focal or Partial seizures

Focal/partial seizures arise & involve a localized/ focal brain area. A person may experience a simple or complex partial seizure. Simple focal seizure does not involve any loss of consciousness. Its symptoms are:

  • Dizziness
  • Change in the sense of smell, taste, sight, touch or hearing
  • Twitching or tingling of limbs or face

However, complex seizures may involve loss of consciousness or awareness. The symptoms of the same involve:

  • Unresponsiveness
  • Blank staring at the walls
  • Repetitive movements/stereotypy

Generalized Seizures

Seizures that involve the whole brain are known as generalized seizures. They are of six types:

  • Absence seizures or petit mal seizures: This seizure causes a person to stare blankly while causing repetitive movements like blinking or smacking of lips. It is often accompanied by loss of awareness too.
  •  Tonic Seizures: These seizures cause a person to suffer from muscle stiffness.
  • Atonic Seizures: These seizures often make a person fall down suddenly due to loss of muscle control.
  • Clonic Seizures: These seizures cause rhythmic, repeated jerky movement of limbs/face.
  • Myoclonic Seizures: These seizures are characterized by the spontaneous twitching of the legs and arms.
  • Tonic Clonic Seizures: Also known as the ‘grand mal seizures’, symptoms of these include shaking or stiffening of the body, loss of bowel control, loss of awareness and biting of the tongue. 

After a seizure, many people do not remember having one or may feel ill for few hours.

What are the common causes of epilepsy?

Though there is no one identifiable cause found in half of the people suffering from the condition, several factors have been found to be responsible for epilepsy due to various factors such as:

  • Genetic Influence: Some common types of epilepsy are characterized by genetic influence. There are certain genes that run in families that may be responsible for seizures in a person.
  • Head injury: Traumatic brain injury in car accidents or other trauma can also cause epilepsy in a person.
  • Abnormalities in the brain: Certain brain abnormalities like tumors, stroke, cavernous malformations or vascular malformations can also cause epilepsy.
  • Infections: Certain infections like HIV, meningitis, viral encephalitis and other parasitic infections can also cause epileptic seizures in a person.
  • Prenatal injury before birth
  • Developmental disorders like autism

How can epilepsy be treated?

Epilepsy can be very effectively managed through medications. The doctor prepares a customized treatment plan according to the severity and health of the patient. For now, many advanced brain stimulation techniques, specialized diet plans and even surgeries are available in addition to medications, manage your epilepsy successfully by fixing an appointment with the most experienced neurologists in Faridabad at Accord hospitals in, Faridabad Delhi/NCR today. 

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