ABOUT THE DISEASE
Epilepsy is a chronic medical condition marked by repeated seizures. This happens due to altered brain function, caused by abnormal or excessive electrical discharges from brain cells. If a person has recurring seizures, this is called epilepsy.
Symptoms may vary from person to person depending upon the part of the brain that is affected and these may include:
- • Strange smell or sensation called an aura, or warning that tells a person they are about to have a seizure.
- • Sudden body stiffness.
- • Rhythmic jerking of the face, arm, or leg.
- • State of unconsciousness.
- • Grimacing, chewing, lip smacking, or drooling.
- • Mostly there is a period of sleepiness after a seizure.
In most cases there is no obvious cause (idiopathic). Of the remaining the more common reasons include:
- congenital abnormalities
- brain tumors
- infection such as meningitis, encephalitis
- use of certain medications such as anti depressants
- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Head CT / MRI, to identify the part of the brain that has got affected
- EEG (electroencephalogram) - to measure brain activity level
- Medication, such as Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, Primidone, Valproic acid, Diazepam, Gabapentin, Lamotrigine, Topiramate, etc.
These medications should be taken regularly as prescribed by the treating neurologist.
- Epilepsy surgery, to resect the abnormal portion of the brain causing seizures.
- Vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) implantation.
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