11 Dec Seizing Control: A Comprehensive Guide to Epilepsy Management
Epilepsy is a brain disorder defined by repeated seizures. Seizures are sudden brain alterations resulting in temporary change in electrical functioning of the brain.
In people with seizures, the normal electrical activity in the brain changes because of sudden electronic bursts affecting the consciousness and movements.
Do you suddenly lose consciousness and start shaking? Sometimes, people might stare out without blinking or any movement which is also considered a type of seizure.
The psychiatrist in Patna, Dr. Vivek Pratap Singh is the best who can offer treatment options for this condition.
What causes epilepsy?
Epilepsy has no definitive cause; it can be due to a varied range of factors. For some people, it can be idiopathic while for others it can be traced back to environmental factors.
- People are influenced genetically by epilepsy running in their families. For some people, their genetic mutations make up for the cause of epilepsy and it is not hereditary. While for other people, it can be running in the family and they are passed down from a parent.
- Brain tumors are one of the leading causes of seizures in people. They are the warning signs that there is something wrong with the brain. The new blood vessels forming in the brain can cause disruption and lead to epilepsy. Conditions such as arteriovenous malformation, or cavernous malformations can have seizures and severe headaches. People experiencing stroke can get seizures if they are older than 35 years.
- Traumatic injury to the head can cause bleeding and hemorrhage in the brain. This can lead to symptoms such as severe headaches, disorientation and seizures. Even after treatment and surgery, it might not improve and can develop into epilepsy with a history of more than two seizures.
- Infectious etiology like meningitis, HIV, or viral encephalitis can cause changes in brain matter that can lead to seizures.
- During pregnancy, the babies are sensitive to damage to the brain. This can be caused by several factors like infections in the mother, poor nutrition, or not enough oxygen to the baby. This damage to the brain can result in epilepsy or cerebral palsy.
- In children, developmental conditions can occur with autism or ADHD. Children with epilepsy can develop adhd related to the gene mutations.
The diagnosis of epilepsy can be done by healthcare professionals after reviewing their symptoms and medical history. To know the epilepsy cause,
- Neurological exam tests to diagnose behavior, mental function, and movements. The exam helps diagnose epilepsy and other conditions.
- Complete blood count detects infections, or genetic conditions associated with seizures.
- Genetic testing gives more information about the kind of condition we’re dealing with.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) is used to check for electrical waves in the brain by attaching electrodes in the scalp. If one has a seizure, there will be changes in the electrical waves even if the person is not having a seizure. This test is either done in the hospital or doctor’s office. And, sometimes to know the details thoroughly, it is done at home for a few days.
- CT scan checks for tumors, bleeding, or cysts in the brain.
- MRI scan shows if there is any atrophy or hypertrophy in the structure of brain matter. It is the scan used when the CT scan did not reveal anything or there was some abnormality and to confirm it further MRI is needed. It gives a detailed look at the brain.
- PET scan is performed by injecting a low-dose contrast material into a vein and visualizing the metabolic activity of the brain and any changes associated with it.
How many seizures before epilepsy is diagnosed?
There needs to be a history of more than two seizures that can be diagnosed as epilepsy.
The first seizure can be due to any number of causes such as low sugar, dehydration, high fever or alcohol withdrawal. But if the seizure continues this can be evidence of an underlying mental condition.
What is the first aid treatment for epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a chronic condition like diabetes, or asthma and it comes with certain risks. Risks associated with a person with seizure can be high if the epilepsy is poorly controlled.
These risks can be injuries due to falls, and sometimes with fatal complications.
The first aid treatment for epilepsy includes
- Try to stay calm and remain with the person.
- Remove any harmful substances or things from around them so they don’t injure themselves.
- Place something soft under their head like a pillow or a blanket so they don’t hurt their head.
- Loosen any tight clothing they are wearing and make sure their neck is not covered with any tight muffler or anything.
- Once the seizure ends, roll them to your side and if they have anything like fluid or food in their mouth, roll them to the original position.
- Don’t give them anything like tablets or food by mouth because they might aspirate on it.
- Don’t forget to time the seizure.
Typically, the seizure lasts less than 2 minutes. However, sometimes, people can have seizures that last longer than that or occur in frequent intervals.
For them, the seizures might occur in clusters and happen regularly. These situations can be considered as seizure emergencies and these seizures can even lead to brain injury so treating them quickly is important.
The seizure treatment emergency involves administering the medication in a way that can stop the seizure prescribed by the neurologist.
What is the most common treatment for epilepsy?
The epilepsy treatment guidelines includes treatment with
- Medications known as anti-epileptic drugs
- Surgery to remove the part of brain that causes seizures
- There’s a procedure that involves putting a device in the brain that can help control the seizures
- Diet that can reduce seizures
Some people with seizures gone on to develop epilepsy need treatment for their whole life. At times, with regular medications the seizures stop and they can discontinue the medications.
The antiepileptic drugs commonly used for treating epilepsy can help control seizures in 70% of people. They work by changing the brain chemicals level and do not cure epilepsy but treat the seizures.
The most common type of AEDs are
- Sodium valproate
The best type of medication depends on the age and the type of seizure one has.
Your physician may start you on a low dose of aeds and gradually increase or taper the dose according to the condition. Never suddenly stop taking aeds because that can trigger a seizure.
Can epilepsy be cured by surgery?
This surgery involves removing a part of the brain that’s causing the seizures. This option is adopted if
The anti epileptic medications are unable to control your seizures.
If the imaging tests have particularly shown a part of the brain that is causing the seizures and can be accessed through surgery without serious postoperative complications.
There’s a good chance that seizures might stop after the surgery.
The best treatment for epilepsy in the world is deep brain stimulation.
This is done when all the other treatments failed. Some doctors have already performed this and have gotten good results so far for a decade.
How can I control seizures naturally?
Some people with epilepsy can have reduced frequency by adopting these dietary changes. One of the most popular is the ketogenic diet.
This diet involves high fats, and low carbohydrates and protein. In children, this diet has shown to reduce seizures by changing brain chemicals.
For adults, this increased fat diet showed serious health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
In children, this diet is still used if the seizures are not controlled by AEDs. There are other options like stress relieving yoga, exercise and workout helps.
Prevention of epilepsy
Around 25% of epilepsy cases can be prevented by
- Preventing head injury, by reducing falls, sports injuries, and traffic accidents that can prevent post traumatic epilepsy.
- Proper perinatal care can reduce new cases of epilepsy due to birth injury.
- Decreased use of drugs or methods to reduce fever that can reduce febrile seizures.
- Other medical conditions like cardiovascular diseases can cause strokes resulting in seizures. So, preventing these diseases by measuring the blood pressure regularly, and controlling blood sugar level.
- Avoid smoking tobacco or excessive use of alcohol.
- Some cns infections can cause seizures, so try to treat the infections immediately. If it’s not controlled it can lead to grave complications like seizures and epilepsy.
Can epilepsy patients live a normal life?
Patients with epilepsy have to deal with a lot of societal norms and behaviors.
Sometimes, it affects their social lives like they cannot go out, or be around people. Because seizures can happen anytime and it might be hard for other people to understand or deal with them.
Although being said that, taking regular medications for the condition and following the treatment regime provided by your physician can help control the seizures.
So, complying to your medication schedule, can help a person live a bit of a normal life.
Epilepsy treatment can be helpful and beneficial to people. No one should ignore what they are going through.
So, the neuropsychiatric illness treatment in Patna, Dr. Vivek Pratap Singh is the best and most reliable.