The cause of epilepsy and its types
Epilepsy is a physical condition caused by a sudden gross disruption of the brain. The main cause of epilepsy is the failure of normal brain activity.
Features of the disease
Convulsive seizure in most cases develops for no apparent reason, although in some patients it can be triggered by external factors, such as flickering light. Most seizures of any kind are short-lived: from a second to a few minutes.
Some people have a strange foreboding before epileptic seizures. Some patients really talk about the strange sensations that arise before the biggest seizure. They may experience fear, weakness, or irritation, smell, or taste. This condition is called an aura, and in fact it is a small focal seizure preceding the large one. Animals also feel the aura.
An unpleasant feature is that such foci tend to spread to other parts of the brain.
Symptoms of epilepsy
There are two main types of convulsive seizures: generalized, caused by dysfunction of the whole brain, and partial (focal), associated with disorders in more limited areas of the brain.
A patient with a large generalized convulsive seizure loses consciousness, and he often has convulsions. With a small convulsive seizure, there is a fleeting sense of confusion or disorientation. However, a small seizure sometimes turns into a large or provokes its occurrence.
In some cases, children have a special kind of generalized seizures, the so-called absences (from fr. Absence - absence), characterized only by an instant loss of consciousness. It may seem to others that the child just dozed off or suddenly lost his attention.
Differentiation of symptoms
For reasons and conditions, epilepsy was divided into two groups. The cause of epilepsy is damage to the nervous system at the stage of intrauterine development. This is idiopathic epilepsy. Symptomatic epilepsy mainly affects adults.
The complexity of the symptoms of epileptic seizures is that the patient himself is not fully aware of and experiencing them.For the most part, observers are completely unrelated to medicine. Yes, and doctors can not always immediately distinguish an epileptic seizure from another disease. But sometimes the life of the patient depends on the correct diagnosis.
Convulsive syndrome may not always be epilepsy. You can confuse with epileptic seizures febrile seizures in children associated with high fever.
Signs of an epileptic seizure
But the main symptoms of epilepsy still exist:
- convulsive convulsions;
- temporary suspension of breathing with possible urinary incontinence;
- profuse salivation;
- sharp drooping or turning of the head;
- rolling up the eyeballs;
- sharp convulsions of the legs, arms and body.
Sometimes a sharp change in the state of the child can also be a symptom. For example, a sharp transition from depressed mood to violent joy or fun. There is no exception to loss of concentration, temporary loss of orientation in space.
Prolonged and fairly frequent seizures lead to more serious problems. There is a death of brain cells, which violates the mental and physical development of the child.And epileptic seizures (it is not for nothing that people call epilepsy a “epilepsy” disease) for up to 10 minutes can be fatal.
Therefore, never leave a patient with epilepsy alone, whatever the type of seizure.
What can trigger an epileptic seizure?
Everyone who suffers from this disease develops an epilepsy attack. The causes of an epileptic seizure are the rapid spread of excitation of an epileptic focus to other parts of the brain. The attack provoke a variety of factors, primarily stress.
A person suffering from this disease, and his relatives should know what actions can trigger an attack:
- alcohol abuse;
- stress, arousal, strong emotions;
- stopping or failing to take drugs that are included in the course of treatment for seizures;
- abrupt change of the day regimen, lack of sleep;
- flashing lights;
- hot and humid climate;
- moon phases;
- sexual activity;
- vaccination and fever;
- diet and stuff.
In the rarest cases, a bath, bright sun, prolonged bathing, a sharp sound, etc. can provoke an attack.
Epilepsy: Causes in Adults
We can single out the following causes of the disease:
- Head injuries Any bruises, concussions, blows that cause brain injury can provoke the development of the disease. The peculiarity is that this disease manifests itself after some (mostly long) time.
- Damage of the brain to infectious diseases, which can be both viral and bacterial. This is rabies after a bite by animals, tetanus, encephalitis, meningitis, abscesses, etc.
- Various brain tumors that, due to their intense pain, can cause seizures.
- Some types of drugs.
- Increased intracranial pressure.
- Congenital pathologies of the brain.
But most often the cause of epilepsy in adults is a severe form of brain disease.
The risk group includes people with multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis of the neck and brain, drug addicts and alcoholics.
Sometimes epilepsy develops in children. The causes of the following:
- Failure or impaired brain formation during pregnancy.Acceptance of alcoholic beverages by a pregnant woman, nicotine addiction, late toxicosis, various colds, late childbirth, can all lead to dysfunction of the brain in the future baby.
- Severe form of childbirth or birth trauma.
- The transfer of a child of infectious diseases of the nervous system: meningitis, encephalitis, etc.
- Head injuries
- The formation of tumors in the head.
- Computer games cause seizures in some children. Such cases are extremely rare. Girls suffer from this more often than boys.
In general, the cause of the occurrence of epilepsy in childhood is difficult to establish or refers to the genetic component.
The diagnostician and the attending physician of the patient with epilepsy is a neuropathologist.
A conversation with a neurologist's parents with a child is a rather large and important part of measures aimed at making the correct diagnosis, determining the cause of the disease and further treatment.
Especially important is the maternal history.
The doctor finds out the age of the mother at birth not only the sick child, but also the existing children.By finding out the genetic aspects and other methods, chromosomal abnormalities and congenital diseases are determined, which may well be the culprits of this disease.
Were abortions previously performed that could trigger epilepsy in a child during the next pregnancy?
To the smallest details it turns out the course of pregnancy and childbirth. Often the disease is associated with adverse perinatal effects.
For diagnosis, tomography, electroencephalogram, and delivery of the necessary tests are assigned.
Prevention and treatment of seizures
The prognosis for the treatment of epilepsy is very favorable. Seven out of ten patients receiving the necessary drugs never suffer convulsive seizures, and in most cases the number of seizures in a lifetime does not exceed ten.
How is epilepsy treated? Causes and treatment are interrelated. To keep different types of epilepsy under control, various medications are used. They, like all other drugs, can cause unwanted side reactions (in this case, mostly double vision, drowsiness or anxiety), which, however, can be significantly reduced by careful dose selection.
If there are any side effects when taking antiepileptic drugs, it is extremely important to immediately inform the doctor who prescribed them. A pregnant woman should also immediately discuss the issue of taking medications with her doctor, since some drugs have a detrimental effect on the development of the fetus.
Treatment of Adult Epilepsy
How is adult epilepsy treated? Causes in adults and treatment are also closely related. If the cause is a brain tumor, surgery will be required to remove the tumor and appropriate postoperative therapy.
Infectious diseases that trigger seizures are treated with antibiotics. But since the cause of attacks is extremely difficult, and sometimes simply impossible, the main therapy for treatment is psychotropic, anticonvulsant and antiepileptic drugs.
The main task in the treatment of epilepsy in our country is to stop attacks and restore impaired brain functions. If the nature of the seizures is unknown, the disease is considered incurable.There are also special medications that the patient must take constantly for a long time. Such drugs include: "Carbamazepine", "Lamictal", "Difenin" and several others.
Equally effective treatment is provided by traditional medicine. Broths of herbs licorice, valerian, hemlock or meadow lumbago have anti-convulsant actions. But some herbs are poisonous and therefore you should be careful when taking them.
Broths and infusions of herbs are used to strengthen the central nervous system and are a good way to prevent epileptic seizures.
Treatment of pediatric epilepsy
How is epilepsy treated in children? Causes and treatment are also interrelated. Prevention of epilepsy in children should begin in pregnancy. And after childbirth, breastfeeding is the main preventive and therapeutic agent for brain functions. Mother's milk contains all the necessary trace elements, minerals and vitamins.
Children suffering from "falling sickness" disease must necessarily go to school. With adequate treatment, the child does not suffer from the disease at all and does not lag behind his peers in his studies.
To cure a disease such as epilepsy, the symptoms, the causes of occurrence need to be able to recognize and correctly interpret.