Epilepsy Treatment in India
A disorder of the brain that also includes recurring seizures is termed as epilepsy. These seizures are due to chemical and electrical activity of the brain. Seizures can happen anywhere in the brain and involves multiple causes.
Fits, convulsions or episodes are the other names for seizures. Seizures come suddenly and changes a child's state of physical activity and awareness for a temporary period. Convulsions or fits also affect the senses like sensation, smell or vision.
Causes of Epilepsy
The causes of seizures cannot be recognized (idiopathic). These seizures can occur at any age but generally they begin in between the age of 5-20. They can also occur due to family history of epilepsy or seizures. Other causes include –
- Brain strokes or tumors
- A brain injury
- Birth injuries
- Alcohol withdrawal
- An infection that affects the developing brain of a fetus during pregnancy
- Poisoning like alcohol or lead poisoning
- Encephalitis, Meningitis or any other type of infection that affects the brain
- Lack of oxygen to an infant's brain during childbirth
Seizures are considered as one of the symptoms of epilepsy. Seizures are of many types and they can feel and look different that depends upon how quickly or how far they spread to the brain. For example
- A person may black out and fall on the ground.
- A person may experience a strange feeling as if he or she is out of touch with their surroundings.
- Arms may jerk suddenly.
- Muscles may feel limp or stiff.
- A person may tremble or twitch
Types of Epilepsy
- Partial Epilepsy
- Complex partial seizure
- Simple partial seizure
- Generalized tonic clonic seizures
- Myoclonic epilepsy
Diagnosis and Tests for Epilepsy
A patient is required to have an electroencephalograph (EEG) which is done for reading the electrical activity of the brain. The presence of seizures is confirmed by taking this test. It is essential to do prolonged EEG monitoring as EEG can be normal in between seizures. In order to locate any damaged brain tissue or scar, computer tomography (CT) scanning and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be done. Many times PET (positron emission tomography) can also be done for examining blood flow to the brain.