Epilepsy is a rather scary condition characterized by convulsions, episodes of sudden and involuntary muscle contractions. These may involve frothing through the mouth in extreme cases.
Epilepsy refers to a set of neurological disorders that are commonly manifested through seizures. It is the result of a disruption in the normal cell-to-cell communication process of the central nervous system. Seizures have the ability to raise a serious alarm if left untreated, causing havoc in a person’s life.
Although these episodes may be infrequent, it is important that the patient is made aware of the condition he faces when attack strikes. At most times, patients when left unaware, often find themselves at the mercy of others, without realizing that help is just at an arm’s length.
How to deal with a Seizure
Sometimes, one cannot really monitor the frequency of a seizure. At most times patients have little or no control over their body parts. Some of them are even scared, thinking that they might be mugged when a seizure strikes. Most doctors recommend that the patient and his family members should be made aware of what he might do during an attack.
Although only about 1 percent of the world is known to suffer from these seizures, the causes are yet under research, with a definite solution that still remains unearthed!
Causes and Effects
The physiological reason behind a seizure is altered communication between neurons. This may occur due to brain tumors and cancers, brain injury, alcohol or drug abuse, as well as certain bacterial and parasitic infections. Depending on the precise etiology, epileptic conditions have been categorized as:
* Symptomatic epilepsy that involves pathologically evident damage to the brain tissue.
* Cryptogenic epilepsy that is characterized by symptoms suggestive of brain damage but no physical damage to the brain is detectable.
* Idiopathic epilepsy, for which the etiology is unclear.
Symptoms and Signs
The signs of seizures largely depend upon the type of seizure. Some of them may last for only 20 seconds whereas some might stretch for about 45 minutes to an hour. Since they are difficult to pinpoint, there is a generalized view on this.
* Generalized seizures may affect the consciousness and bodily functions from its onset and affect the whole body.
* Absence seizures usually last 10 to 30 seconds. They may include slight movement, or a total loss of contact with the environment. Since the impulses to the brain are infrequent, it’s a tough situation for the patient to even move his finger.
Epilepsy cannot be cured completely but can be controlled by treating the specific neurological disorder as well as by using anti-epileptic drugs (AED). However, certain precautions should be taken.
* You could loosen some amount of restrictive clothing; roll over the patient to one side so that he breathes easily, without any blockages.
* You could move any sharp or potentially harmful items away from the person suffering from a seizure to ensure that he does not harm himself or others around him.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.