What is epilepsy

Epilepsy is a condition characterized by prolonged seizures in the affected person. A seizure is defined as an abnormal and unprovoked exhaustion of the nerve cells of the brain, resulting in a temporary impairment of a person’s motor, sensory and brain functions.

There are several types of seizures, depending on which part of the brain is affected. The medical term epilepsy does not say anything about the type of seizure or its cause, it just means that the seizures are repeated.

For a more precise definition of the term “epilepsy” it is necessary to state that seizures have no established underlying cause. This condition is defined as primary or idiopathic epilepsy.

In epilepsy, a so-called epileptic focus is formed in the brain, which is usually formed by damaged neurons and is characterized by autonomic excitability, i.e. it does not respond to the control effect of the central nervous system. Activation of the focus causes hyperexcitation of the neurons that make it up.

Arousal can also involve neighboring neurons and even become generalized and involve large parts of the brain. As a result of various biochemical processes that occurred as a result of this hyperexcitation in the focus of epilepsy, the characteristic epileptic seizures are also manifested.

What are the symptoms of epilepsy

Epilepsy attacks are generalized and partial.

Generalized seizures: they are characterized by the fact that they cover the entire cortex of the brain and both hemispheres and are therefore called generalized.

The attack begins with a sudden seizure, which is usually accompanied by a specific cry of the patient. The epileptic’s body then contracts, and after a few seconds rhythmic movements of the legs and arms begin. Often the rhythmic movements of the limbs slow down before stopping.

  • The pupils are usually greatly dilated and do not respond to light being directed at them;
  • Breathing stops for a short time, and after the seizure the epileptic begins to breathe deep.
  • The return to consciousness is gradual and the time for this varies in different cases of epilepsy.
  • Loss of control over bladder and over the rectal muscles that control bowel movement is also characteristic of epilepsy, with epileptics “leaking” during a seizure.
  • Epileptics often feel briefly confused after the epileptic seizure has passed

Partial seizures: symptoms depend on the part of the brain where the neurons are overexcited.

  • Repetitive blinking, flapping, sudden sensitivity of the skin;
  • Unconsciously performing more complex activities such as writing, searching;< /li>
  • Sensation of body sinking and sinking.

Epilepsy treatment

Epilepsy treatment is a complex and individual process , which requires careful monitoring and cooperation between the patient and the doctor.

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease that manifests itself through regular epileptic seizures that can have different symptoms and characteristics.

Epilepsy treatment aims to reduce the number and intensity of seizures or even prevent them altogether.

Anticonvulsants, or antiepileptic drugs, are the mainstay of epilepsy therapy. They work by stabilizing electrical activity in the brain and reducing the likelihood of epileptic seizures.

The choice of a particular anticonvulsant depends on many factors, including the type of epilepsy, the age of the patient, the presence of other diseases, and possible side effects of the drugs.

Some patients may need to try several different anticonvulsants before they find the one that works best for them. This process can take several weeks or even months.

Patients should be patient and actively cooperate with their doctor during this period, monitoring and documenting any changes in their symptoms.

One of the important aspects of the treatment of epilepsy is the regular monitoring and assessment of the concentration of the anticonvulsant in the patient’s blood plasma.

This is done through blood tests and allows the doctor to determine if the dose of the drug is appropriate and if it continues to be effective.

If it is found that the anticonvulsant is not working well enough or has unwanted side effects, the doctor may change the therapy and try a different anticonvulsant.

Patients should strictly follow their doctor’s instructions regarding taking the medication and consult with him or her with any questions or concerns.

It is important to emphasize that stopping anticonvulsants without the consent and supervision of the doctor can be dangerous and lead to deterioration of the patient’s condition.

In addition to pharmacological therapy, other treatment methods may be recommended in some patients, such as diet (eg, ketogenic diet), vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), surgical interventions, and others. The choice of additional methods depends on the specific case and is made after consultation with a neurologist and/or neurosurgeon.

After all, the treatment of epilepsy is a complex and individual process that requires specialized medical supervision and cooperation between the patient and the doctor.

Anticonvulsants are the mainstay of therapy, but it is important to regularly follow the doctor’s instructions and maintain active communication with him during the entire treatment process.

Only in this way can control of epileptic seizures and improvement of the patient’s quality of life be achieved.

Is it possible to prevent epilepsy

If epileptic seizures are associated with another disease, the identification and treatment of this disease is the best prevention. If an anticonvulsant is prescribed, it is important to follow the prescribed schedule and not miss taking it at your prescribed intervals.

Some epileptics are highly sensitive to alcohol. And so if attacks occur after drinking alcohol, the key to prevention is avoiding alcohol consumption.

Reducing stress in everyday life and getting enough sleep has been shown to reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures.

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