Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system, marked by unprovoked, recurrent seizures. An epileptic seizure is an event of an altered brain function caused by excessive, electrical discharges from brain cells. During an epileptic seizure, brain activity becomes abnormal, causing periods of unusual behaviour, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.
Epilepsy is a disorder afflicting the central nervous system so that brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures. Only when a person has experienced more than one seizure, is epilepsy diagnosed. While in most people, the cause cannot be identified, in some cases the following have been found to be epilepsy causes:
The presence of the following factors increases an individual’s risk of getting epilepsy:
Signs & Symptoms:
Usually, a person with epilepsy tends to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms are similar from episode to episode. There could be temporary confusion, staring blankly, involuntary movements of the limbs, becoming unconscious, anxiety or fear. Focal or partial seizures may be without loss of consciousness or with impaired awareness are epilepsy symptoms.
At Medcare, it is our endeavour to provide the best neurodiagnostic care and treatment of epilepsy, therefore accuracy of the diagnosis and locating the exact place where the seizures begin, play an important role in providing the most effective treatment.
To begin with, our specialists take you through a neurological test to narrow down the type of epilepsy you may have. This is usually followed by a blood test to check for signs of infections or genetic conditions linked to the seizures.
Our neurologists use analysis techniques like statistical parametric mapping (SPM), curry analysis or magnetoencephalography (MEG) to achieve the best possible diagnosis.
Schedule a consultation with a neurologist at Medcare to get the best epilepsy treatment options:
A: A seizure happens because of unusual electrical activity in the brain. However, all seizures are not related to epilepsy. People who have had two or more seizures without any provocation within the last 24 hours have epilepsy.
A: The electroencephalogram (EEG) test directly detects electrical activity in the brain. Epileptic seizures are defined by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. During an EEG, electrodes (small metal disks) are attached by glue to specific locations on the patient’s head. These are also attached to a monitor to record the brain's electrical activity.
A routine EEG procedure takes about 90 minutes and records about 20 minutes of brain wave. A repeat EEG recording of 180 minutes or more might be necessary. The EEG is useful to confirm a diagnosis of epilepsy and to determine the type of epilepsy.
Prolonged EEG-video monitoring is an even better diagnostic method. In this, an EEG monitors the brain's activity and cameras videotape body movements and behaviour during a seizure. For this, the patient may have to spend several days in a special hospital facility.
A: Children with epilepsy can participate fully in school, and later go to college and have a career, but there are some challenges along the way. As a parent, you may sometimes feel overwhelmed and helpless, so it’s important for you to learn all you can about this condition, and also meet with a support group if possible.
Try to understand how your son’s medications may affect him, whether they cause any tiredness or other side effects. Inform his teacher and school doctor or nurse so that they know what to do if he has a seizure in school.
A: Some epilepsy patients report feeling different just before a seizure, and this is called an ‘aura’. Auras are associated more with focal seizures, in which only a part of the brain is affected.
While some people find this aura hard to describe, others describe physical, emotional or sensory changes. An individual often experiences the same aura each time. The aura may be followed by a seizure, or not, because the aura is actually a part of the focal seizure. The aura may involve smelling, seeing or tasting different things.