Epilepsies

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Description

Epilepsy may be termed as a particular disorder related to our central nervous system. This disease puts adverse effects upon the nerve cell activities in the brain and results in seizures. People affected with Epilepsies usually behave in unusual manners and suffer from unconsciousness, sensations and symptoms.

Symptoms – Repeated seizures are the major signs of epilepsy. Persons suffering from this problem are seen with confused memory or short spells of blackout. Loss of control on bladder and bowel with irregular fainting and fatigue are also common apart from unresponsiveness, stiffness and falling without any clear reason. Blinking and chewing without any solid reason is also seen in such patients. Affected people are unable to communicate for short periods and seem dazed too. Inapt repeated movements, panic, fear and indecisiveness are also seen in the patients that become angry without any cause. They suffer from jerks in their legs and arms etc and may complain of spasms, adverse effect on hearing/vision/smell and emotional disturbances etc.

Diagnosis – The doctor may enquire about the family history of the patients and conduct different tests. Epilepsy EEG Test tracks the electrical signals from the brain. Blood tests may be necessitated to diagnose the problem. Certain persons may be asked to undergo position emission tomography, i.e. PET to recognize the particular part of the brain that causes the seizures. Spinal Tap; popular as lumbar puncture involves examination of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds the spinal cord.

Treatment – The physician recommends the particular type of treatment depending upon severity of the problem, patient’s age, and frequency of seizures, medical history & overall health. Drug treatments including anti-epileptic drugs, i.e. AEDs are useful. Patients may experience good improvement to control the tremor and be at ease in the physical activities by taking the prescribed medicines recommended by the doctors. Alternative treatments including melatonin, biofeedback and intake of heavy vitamin doses also provide good results. Ketogenic Diets also facilitate wonderful results. Vagus Nerve Stimulation also helps the patients to great extent. Certain patients suffering from Epilepsy may be required to go in for temporal lobe resection. This is a surgery that is conducted on the brain to fight the seizures. Seizure focus is removed by cutting the brain tissue in the temporal lobe. Epilepsy associated with a defined lesion or seizures not treated by medicines may be managed with Lesinectomy. Acute and problematic seizures not controlled with other treatments may require functional Hemispherectomy. Frequent seizures affecting both sides of the brain and extreme form of epilepsy may require Corpus Callosotomy known as split-brain surgery. Brain tissues containing seizure focus may be cut away with Extratemporal Cortical Resection method. Awake Brain Surgery may be conducted for treating the children that suffer from seizures. Laser Thermal Ablation method may also be recommended for certain patients.

Few patients of epilepsy are treated by implanting electrodes into specific part/s of the brain. Seizures are reduced by sending electrical pulses to the brain by connecting the electrodes to the generator that is implanted in the chest. Implanting pacemaker is also useful.

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