EPILEPSY

What Experts Don’t Want You To Know

The root of the word “epilepsy” derives from the ancient Greek language (επιληψία), and means “grab, occupy, occupy.”

This disease is characterized by a constant predisposition to the occurrence of epileptic seizures with the consequences of disorders of neurobiological, cognitive, and psychosocial status. Epilepsy is the easiest to define neurophysiological terminology, as an occasional sudden, excessive, rapid, and localized outbreak of gray brain matter.

Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder that can be treated pharmacologically in most patients.

It affects about 50 million people worldwide, six million people in Europe. The occurs in all age groups, most often in childhood, adolescence, and older age. It was recognized and described over 4000 years ago. The founder of today’s understanding was Hippocrates, who in the fifth century BC. Rejected epilepsy as a “divine disease” and said it was a hereditary brain disorder. His understanding was not accepted by the environment, and the following 20 centuries of epilepsy remained a great unknown. In some cultures (as in ancient Greece), epilepsy was interpreted as an expression of genius and supernatural abilities.

 

What characterizes epilepsy?

It is a condition that shows a tendency to repeat epileptic seizures. The sick can cope with the arrival of the attack, but cannot prevent it. Although it has nausea and a sense of weight in the head, the attack occurs suddenly. The classic attack is characterized by loss of consciousness, whole-body cramping, arm, and leg stiffening, spasms with spongy foam, and bite of the tongue. A person in this state does not respond to sounds or calls. It is very important not to touch until the attack lasts, or it is not necessary to refresh, calm or correct the hardened body. It is only necessary to turn to the side, to remove sharp objects from its immediate vicinity, and wait for it to be realized.

Epileptic attacks

Epileptic seizures are manifested by various disorders of the nervous system, often with associated quantitative and qualitative disorders of consciousness and cognitive functions. The most common clinical manifestations are sensory and sensory disorders, motor disorders with muscular tone disorders (atony, hypotonia, tonic, clonic and tonic-clonic cramps), and disorders of vegetative functions (cardio-respiratory and circulatory sensation with transient heart rhythm disturbances, respiratory rate, pallor, and skin redness, digestive disorders with a feeling of hunger or nausea, dry mouth or excessive sweating, urogenital sensation, etc.). Attacks can last from several milliseconds to several hours or days correlating with types of attacks. If the attack lasts for more than an hour, it is about the epileptic status that poses a vital threat to the patient, and urgent hospital care is needed.

 

Causes and Symptoms

In childhood, the most common cause is congenital trauma, then disorders of blood vessel development, congenital damage, head trauma, infection, and tumors. In adulthood, the most common causes are stroke, head trauma, intoxication, or overuse of alcohol or drugs, tumors, and infections. A large part of epilepsy is idiopathic (with a hereditary basis).

We have to mention that Inheritance plays an important role as a causal factor. It is important to note that inheritance is very complex and diverse a few people with epilepsy are inherited directly from parents to the child. If one of the parents has idiopathic epilepsy, the risk of having a child is 4%. But if both parents are suffering from this type of epilepsy, the risk increases to 20-30%.

Generally speaking, the symptoms are the attacks that occur in these diseases. But during the seizure, there may be muscle cramps, anxiety, the sensation of snuff, vision or hearing, as well as a certain degree of disturbance of consciousness. There are two basic groups of seizures: generalized (with complete disturbance of consciousness) and partial (without or with partial disturbance of consciousness). Partial seizures are divided into those with simple (elemental) and complex (complex) symptomatology.

Division of epilepsy

The classification of epilepsy and seizure epilepsy is very complex and about the development of epileptology, neurogenetics, and pharmacogenetics since 1960. To date, it has been revised more than once in the jurisdiction of ILAE.

Epileptic attacks are divided into:

  1. “Focal” (focal or partial) arising from certain anatomical areas of a single hemisphere of the brain, and whose functional determinations make specific clinical manifestations. They are divided into “simple” without change of consciousness and “complex” with narrow consciousness.
  2. “Primarily generalized” where both hemispheres of the brain and the neurological manifestations are affected also result in complete loss of consciousness (grand mal attack, absence, myoclonus epilepsy, etc.). Switching focal points to generalize attacks is possible.

According to the cause of epilepsy, they are divided into:

  1. Idiopathic (“genetic”) associated with genetic deficiency
  2. Symptomatic (“structural-metabolic”) related mainly to acquire structural, metabolic changes in the brain (post-contraction, post-have magnetic changes, vascular brain lesions, tumors …)
  3. “unknown etiology” (formerly “cryptogenic”) classification of epilepsy and epileptic attack syndromes is very complex and given the development of epileptology, neurogenetics, and pharmacogenetics since 1960. To date, it has been revised several times under the ILAE competencies.

 

Are they different from some epileptic attacks?

The epileptic seizure is not necessarily accompanied by loss of consciousness and the appearance of foam on the mouth. It can also be without loss of consciousness, where the person is aware but can not, due to cerebral activity, react or say anything. Epi-attack sometimes resembles moonlighting, and it is possible to experience scent, visual, or some other hallucination. The attack lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes, which looks like a “whole eternity.”

The person experiences severe, mumble headaches accompanied by vomiting. This type of headache occurs after half an hour to an hour and a half of the attack.

What is the difference between epileptic seizures and epilepsy?

The epileptic attack is a crisis of consciousness that lives nearly eight percent of people on the planet during life. It is most commonly reported as the result of strong stress triggered by the immune system for the defense of the organism, with an attack occurring. It can also come as a reaction to trauma or reaction to the limb within the psychiatric symptoms.

Anxiety or fear of being overwhelmed with insecurity as well as private problems are also triggers for the emergence of an epileptic attack. It is known that people in certain stressful situations react with their stomach, heart, and head. Those who react to the head may experience unusual electrical activity in the brain, which causes an epi-assault. This state of affairs by provoked and flickers in the light of a certain frequency, long-term discomfort or insufficient sleep … When it comes to these epi-attacks, it is important not to repeat, but to remove or cure the symptom. Because if we repeat more than three times, then we may also suspect epilepsy.

 

Diagnostics

In the diagnosis of epilepsy, electroencephalography (a non-invasive method of recording and reading the difference of electrical potentials from the surface of the brain) is applied. Then neuroradiologic examinations which are indispensable help in the diagnosis of epilepsy because it shows or excludes the existence of structural. Metabolic changes in the brain that generate epilepsy (MSCT and NMR brain angiography, NMR diffusion and spectrometry, etc.). In rare cases (stubborn epilepsy, hypokampalic sclerosis, cortical dysplasia …), invasive diagnosis is performed by temporarily placing the surface (strip-grid) or deep (sterototaxial) electrodes on the brain to accurately determine the need for neurosurgical removal of the epileptogenic area.

 

Treatment

Epilepsy can be cured or placed in good control in as many as 70% of patients, contributing to early diagnosis and quality selection of antiepileptics. It is considered that the healing occurred if a person without a seizure for more than ten years, no known predispositions for new seizures, and no further use of antiepileptics be required. Mortality in people with epilepsy is 1.6 to 4.1 times higher than the rest of the population and is associated with seizures, epileptic status, or sudden death in epilepsy (SUDEP). The greater the percentage of mortality in older populations. Suicides are more frequent than in other populations and are mainly associated with associated depression, which has about 35% of people with epilepsy, or even up to 50% in people with poorly controlled epilepsy.

 

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