Epilepsy is a neurological disorder related to the nervous system. When a person suffers a minimum of two seizures, he or she is diagnosed of epilepsy. Epilepsy can occur at any age, but children under the age of 5 are at a higher risk. A seizure is a symptom of epilepsy. There is a flood of electrical activity in the brain and the patient starts behaving rather strangely for that particular period of time. The duration of seizure or the extent of the seizure cannot be pre determined.
Most seizures can lead to epilepsy. The doctor can predict the seizures by recording the brain waves of the patient with the help of EEG. The brain maintains the balance of the electric functioning and controls the factors that initiate the electric activity and restricts the same. The brain also controls the area of such activity. During a seizure, these controls break and electrical discharges affect the adjacent cells. This increases the pace of electrical activity in the brain and cause seizure. A person is called epileptic when he has had more than two seizures.
An imbalance in the electrical functioning of the brain in cortex leads to seizures. Seizures a can affect different people differently and the behavior cannot be generalized. Sometimes, the patient knows in advance that he might be getting seizure. Sometimes you might get the seizures suddenly without any earlier symptoms about this disease. If a person is getting a signal about a possible seizure, he should lie down in a comfortable place. Sometimes, there is a partial seizure and the after the initial warning, there may not be any other symptoms. The initial warning may lead to a convulsion. The end of the seizure is a stage where the patient returns to normalcy. The patient may take a few seconds to a few hours to return to normalcy.
Physically the patient shows the following signs during a seizure -
- Chewing in an odd manner
- Drooling of eyes
- Fluttering or rolling up the eyes
- Sudden fall
- Stomping of feet or hands
- Is unable to move
- Biting lips and making hissing or weird sounds
- Body shaking or blank staring
- Stiffening of body
- Sweating profusely
- Grinding of Teeth and clenching of fists
- Biting of tongue
- Breathing at a fast pace
- Increase in the heart rate
- After the seizure the patient finds
- Difficulty to relate
- Difficulty to remember to what he did during the seizure
- Difficulty in writing
- The patient feels
- Embarrassed and confused
- Depressed and sad
The reasons and causes of epilepsy are unknown in most of the cases. There may be a congenital birth defect in the brain structure of some children. An injury or an infection can cause epilepsy.
If an expecting mother is given some medicines, it can affect the brain of the unborn child and cause epilepsy upon its birth. After a person has had a brain injury, it may take months before the person gets seizures.