Thursday, December 14

Epilepsy – a Chronic Neurological Disorder

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Epilepsia in Greek language means “to seize”.  Epilepsy, which is a common, chronic and complex neurological disorder has its roots in this Greek word.  Around 50 million people all over the world have epilepsy, out of which 2.5 million are Americans.  People suffering from epilepsy become victims of seizures.  Most of the people suffering from epilepsy are from the developing countries.  

Seizures are symptoms of excessive or abnormal electrical activity within the brain.  They are classified based on the source of the seizure in the brain as partial seizures and generalized seizures.  Partial seizures are further sub divided into simple partial seizure (if the person’s consciousness is not affected) and complex partial seizures.  

Children and the elderly people (more than 65 years) are likely to be victims of epilepsy.  People who would have undergone brain surgery are more likely to suffer from this disorder.  In infants, epilepsy may be caused due to CNS (Central Nervous System) infections and trauma.  In adults, it can be caused due to brain tumor, CNS infections, trauma, cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and illicit drug use.  Epilepsy may also be caused due to low blood sugar or sodium.  

Epilepsy cannot be cured but can be controlled by medication.  Doctors advise surgery in complicated cases.  There are more than 40 types of epilepsy like absence seizures, atonic seizures, clonic seizures, etc.  

It is very important to be sensitive while dealing with a person affected by this disorder.  Person should be taken away from sharp edges to avoid injury.  Practice of placing iron in the hands of the person attacked by seizures should be avoided.  This will only cause injury to the person.  Soft material should be placed beneath the head.  Any tight neck-ware should be loosened.  Care should be taken that no object is placed in the person’s mouth.  If the seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes, it should be treated as a medical emergency and the person should be rushed to the nearest hospital.  Generally people will be tired and confused after seizure attack.  Person’s near and dear ones should be with the person and comfort them with gentle words.  Some people suffer migraine like headaches after seizure.  It is common. 

People suffering from should be treated with a lot of love and care.   

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