Epilepsy Warning

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Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Epilepsy refers to a brain disorder that causes severe seizures (Shorvon, 2010). A seizure is defined as distinct changes in sensation and awareness that are caused by the electrical disturbances in the brains (Shorvon, 2010). In relation to epilepsy, the seizures usually recur and they do not have any fundamental cause whereas a seizure that takes place because of the particular cause that is believed to characterize epilepsy.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay


In addition, the principal cause of several conditions of epilepsy is not well-known though many individuals believe that is caused by brain injury, brain tumor, and stroke among others (Appleton & Marson, 2009). The epileptic seizures are mainly brought about by the excessive as well as anomalous cortical nerve cells activities in the brains. This disease can affects individuals of all age groups, races and ethnic backdrops. Surprisingly, over 2.7M Americans citizens are living with this terrible disease (Shorvon, 2010). Besides, about 161,000 Americans develop seizures as well as epilepsy (Shorvon, 2010).Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Three distinctive seizures cause epilepsy, and they include provoked and febrile seizures, and epileptic encephalopathy (Chappell & Crawford, 2001). The provoked seizure is a seizure than has palpable and instant proceding cause such as the metabolic disturbance or that has direct consequence of the current acute cerebral damage such as stoke (Shorvon, 2010). The febrile seizure is defined as the epileptic incident that takes place in the background of the acute increase in the human body temperature especially in children of 6months to six years (Shorvon, 2010). The epileptic encephalopathy is the clinical state where the changes in the cognition or various cerebral functions are likely to be directly because of the constant epileptic processes in the individuals’ brain, and they are widespread in children (Appleton & Marson, 2009). In addition, the idiopathic generalized as well as symptomatic epilepsy are key categories of epilepsy.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

In relation to idiopathic generalized epilepsy, the disorder is frequently associated with the individual’s family unit history of epilepsy. This epilepsy usually starts to show up in childhood or the adolescence stage, but it is diagnosed when one becomes adulthood. Additionally, no nervous system abnormalities occur in this category. The brain is often structurally normal on the brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan (Shorvon, 2010).

On the other hand, individuals who suffer from idiopathic generalized epilepsy are known to have standard intelligence as well as the outcomes of a neurological exam and the MRI is often normal. Besides, the outcomes of the electroencephalogram indicate the epileptic expulsions that affect a single or several regions in the human brain. Individuals with this kind of epilepsy are generally treated with special medications (Chappell & Crawford, 2001).Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

The symptomatic generalized epilepsy is mainly caused by the severe brain damage. For example, the brain damage caused during child birth is major cause of symptomatic generalized epilepsy (Appleton & Marson, 2009). In relation to seizures, people with this epilepsy usually have various neurological problems like the mental retardation. Moreover, inherited brain disorders for instance adrenoleukodystrophy (ADL) or other brain illness like meningitis can as well bring about symptomatic generalized epilepsy (Shorvon, 2010). However, if the key cause of the epilepsy is not identifiable, then, this disorder is known as cryptogenic epilepsy.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

The multiple kinds of symptomatic partial epilepsy are the prevalent epilepsy that usually starts in adulthood, and it does not take place in children. It is caused by the localized anomaly of the brain that often stem from the brain tumors, and congenital among other injurious activities (Chappell & Crawford, 2001). Besides, the symptomatic partial epilepsy is effectively treated with special surgery that is mainly intended to take out the anomalous brain region without compromising the role of the other parts of the brain. Most importantly, the epilepsy surgery is immensely effective in a big figure of the epilepsy patients who failed the several anticonvulsant medications as well as those with particular lesions. Therefore, these patients normally go through the pre-surgical comprehensive epilepsy assessment in the fanatical together with specialized epilepsy centers (Shorvon, 2010).Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Generally, the most recommended treatment of epilepsy is use of the anticonvulsant drugs on the daily basis in order to prevent the occurrence of seizures in the brains (Appleton & Marson, 2009). This is because the medications often work on the human brain signals accordingly to facilitate effective limitation of the hyper-excitability. However, these medications do not heal epilepsy but they allow several individuals to live ordinary and lively lives (Chappell & Crawford, 2001). In addition, other treatment for this brain disorder is the nerve stimulation that mostly entails the electronic stimulation of the human brain by use of the implanted gadget such as pacemaker (Shorvon, 2010). Lastly, the anticonvulsant drugs are also the preferred medications of epilepsy since they immensely prevent the occurrence of seizures.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

In conclusion, epilepsy is a widespread neurological disease that is mainly typified by the recurring and unprovoked seizures. The human brain tumors, injuries as well as strokes are the imperative causes of the epilepsy. In addition, the epileptic seizures are often brought about by the extreme and anomalous cortical nerve cell activities especially on the crucial parts of the brain. Around 2.7M individuals are living with this disease in the United States, and this implies that it is dreaded disease across the globe.

Seizures are defined as sudden or disturbing changes in brains electrical activity. Most of the Seizures produce notable symptoms, but some can leave no signs at all. Recognizing a seizure is important as they can indicate a medical problem . Seizures can be of many types two main types are Epileptic Seizure and Non-epileptic Seizures.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Epileptic Seizures
Epileptic seizures are most common types of Seizures, and about 25% of total Seizure types have Epilepsy. Epilepsy is the disease of the brain characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures, but people who do not have epilepsy can also suffer from epileptic seizures.

Non-Epileptic Seizures
Epileptic Seizures are seizures that do not include abnormal discharges of cortical neurons . They are often caused by psychological conditions like staring for a long time and so on.

Organic Non Epileptic Seizure are caused due to physical condition such as Heart diseases or Diabetes.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay
Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizure are caused due to Psychological condition such as a panic attack, factitious seizures.
Partial Seizure
Happening on one side of the brain, Partial seizure affects only one side of the body. Focal seizures are common example of partial seizure when parts of brain controlling sensory, visual, psychic, autonomic, olfactory or motor nerves are affected. During a Partial seizure, patient won’t be able to respond and may appear confused. Jacksonian march may also occur while experiencing a partial seizure . Chances of Automatism during a Partial seizure also exist. Automatism is a condition where patient starts unconscious and unusual activities; it may be smacking of lips or petting his hair.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Generalized Seizures
Generalized Seizures occur on both parts of the body and cause loss of consciousness. There are many types of generalized seizures, some of them are discussed below

Absence Seizure
Absence Seizure can be defined as a loss of consciousness; it is common among children. The patient can lose consciousness and stares blankly. Most of the patients don’t even know that they had a seizure and commonly goes unnoticed.

Tonic Seizure
Tonic seizures are stiffening of muscles. It may take 10-30 minutes for a person to return to normal after experiencing tonic Seizure.

Colonic Seizure
Often occurred with Tonic Seizures, Colonic Seizures are rhythmic and repeated shaking of muscles that can be of 10-30 second duration.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Myoclonic Seizure
Myoclonic seizures can be defined as spasms of muscles on certain parts of the body and often described as brief electrical shocks . Myoclonic Seizure can also cause the patient to throw or drop objects unconsciously.

Atonic Seizure
Atonic Seizures are loss of muscle tone in effected part of the body. If occurred in legs, it results in falling of the person to the ground.

Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Seizures sometimes may occur with a warning signs and one can minimize the effects of a seizure if notices the warning signs before. Some of warning signs include sudden feeling of anxiousness, changes in vision like blur vision, and changes of color before eyes, lines before eyes etc.; feeling of dizziness and sick stomach feeling can be a warning sign for a seizure.

Symptoms of a seizure
Seizures are of small duration mostly, can range from 10 seconds to 30 seconds, there are many symptoms of a seizure, some of them are described below.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay
– Uncontrollable muscles spasms are indication of a muscle seizure; you can also identify a seizure if part of your body muscle stops working for a period.
– Experience of a strange taste in your mouth can also lead to the evidence of a seizure experience.
– Rapid, uncontrollable eye moments are also an indication of a seizure.
– Loss of control on bladder or lower body is also one sign of a seizure.
– Blackout of time and feeling of absence is most prominent part of Seizure symptom.

Causes of Seizure
There are many reasons and conditions when a seizure can occur, fever in young children can also cause seizures, and heart illness is also one reason of brain seizures. Heart Disease, Head Injury, Street Drugs, Poising, PKU, Toxemia, Extreme high blood pressure, Brain Tumor, Kidney failure and abnormal levels of sodium can also cause Seizure.

Seizures stop by themselves, and their causes are associated with different diseases, by curing that disease you can overcome the seizure, but there are things to do during a seizure as written below
– When seizure occurs, try to lie person down because during a seizure, especially atonic seizure results in person falling on the ground; loosen his clothing; turn the person on side and cushioning persons head may help in ending seizure quickly.
– Doctors should be consulted as soon as First Seizure occurs and even if the person has been experiencing seizures before, doctor should be informed about the duration of a seizure.If two seizures occur at a time, doctor should be notified, and the patient should be hospitalized quickly as it can end up in a coma or many cases, death.
– If a person experiences seizure in water, he should be hospitalized immediately even if the seizure were of minor duration.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

As described earlier, Seizures cannot be prevented. Even diagnosing of Seizure is a difficult task for physicians, but a healthy lifestyle can prevent seizures and you can prevent seizure by treating diseases that are causing seizures. One should remember that exercises can prevent many diseases, and seizures are one of them. Patients of epilepsy should take their medications as directed by doctors to prevent seizures. Epilepsy can also be treated by a surgery and following Ketogenic diet can also help in the prevention of seizures.

There are many types of Seizures and about 10% of total population experiences seizures, but most of them go unnoticed because their duration is short in initial stages. Chances of experiencing another seizure once you’ve experienced a seizure are 50%. So in order to stay healthy, one should maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow medications and checkup schedules.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that attacks the nervous system. Another term for epilepsy is “seizure disorder” (www.epilepsy.com). To this day the exact factor that triggers an epileptic seizure is unknown. In other words epileptic seizures are idiopathic (Ogden, 2005). Seizures occur when too many brain cells get excited at the same time. A seizure is like an electrical storm in your brain. During this electrical storm your brain cannot perform its usual tasks, causing sudden changes in behaviour, sensations, movement, and awareness (www.epilepsysociety.org.uk). A typical seizure usually last between a few seconds, to a few minutes. Once the seizure is finished the victim enters a “post-ictal period. (The greek word “post” meaning “after”, and the Greek work “ictal” meaning “seizure” [http://www.behindthename.com]). During this post-ictal period, which can last from seconds to hours, the brain begins recovering, and the victim’s awareness will gradually increase. It is common to experience confusion and drowsiness during this phase.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Epilepsy is the conditions of having spontaneous seizures. This means having one seizure is not enough to be diagnosed with epilepsy, there must be two or more. To be considered an epileptic seizure the seizure must occur spontaneously, without a direct factor (www.epilepsy.com). Doctors use three main ways to diagnose epilepsy.

Neurological History – Doctors must be given specific description of previous seizures in the past. Such as; how long they lasted, what were you doing when the seizure occurred, what was your body’s behaviour/feeling before the seizure took place, and your body’s behaviour after the seizure ended (www.modernmedicine.com) People who suffer from having seizures do not remember what happens while a seizure takes place. That being said a description from a witness to your seizures could be very beneficial (www.epilepsyfoundation.org).
Electroencephalograph – An electroencephalograph or an EEG is the most common tool used to diagnose epilepsy. An EEG measures
the electrical signals passed from one neuron

to another within the brain

(www.epilepsyfoundation.org) ( see image 1).Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

To measure these electrical signals doctors

attach wires, known as electrodes, on the

patients scalp (www.chp.edu). During an EEG

no electricity is taken from the patient’s brain,

and no electricity is injected into the patients

brain. The EEG simply measures the electrical current travelling through the patient’s brain.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging – a magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is a procedure used to create detailed images of the damaged area of your body. When diagnosing epilepsy an MRI can show damaged regions of your frontal lobe. (see figure 2) Wu XingXiaovi WangFangfang Xie Weihua, L. (2013) An MRI is done by using a large field of radio waves. An MRI is much more effective than an EEG, the neuron images created from an MRI shows exactly where the damaged area of the brain is (Robert F. LaPrade) From there procedures can made to repair or remove the damaged section of the frontal lobe that is causing epileptic seizures.

Types of Epileptic Seizures
Epileptic seizures are a very broad term. When diagnosing the type of epileptic seizures doctors categorize in two main categories; partial seizures, and primary generalized seizures. Within these two main categories there are more specific types of seizures (Stephen C. Schachter).

The first category is “primary generalized seizures”. When a primary generalized seizure takes place both sides of the brain are affected at once, with a large amount of electrical discharge at the same time. The body is then accompanied by sudden movements, loss of awareness, or loss of consciousness. There are three types of primary generalized seizures:Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Clonic seizure (Grand Mal) – This type of seizure that most people visualize when they hear the word “seizure”. When a clonic seizure takes place the victim will stiffen and lose consciousness. – This is the “tonic phase”. The tonic phase usually lasts from thirty seconds, to a couple minutes (www.hopkinsmedicine.org). Next the body’s muscles then start to contract and back will begin to arch, and elbows and legs will start the flex. The last phase of the clonic seizure is jerking. The victim will lose all control of their body and will begin to jerk uncontrollably, this phase usually lasts around two or three minutes (www.nlm.nih.gov).
Absence seizures (Petit Mal) – Absence seizures disconnect the victim from the world for a matter of a few seconds. This type of seizure is triggered from abnormal activity in the brain. Absence seizures occur mostly in children (www.epilepsy.com). There are two types of absence; Simple absence seizures, and Complex absence seizures.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay
Simple Absence seizure – Usually last ten seconds or less. During these ten seconds the person “zones out” or stares off into the distance. This type of seizure is very difficult to diagnose (www.mayoclinic.org).
Complex absence seizures – Usually lasts twenty seconds or less. During this time period then victim will “zone out” but will also be doing some sort of movement, such as; chewing, blinking, hand motions, or rubbing their fingers. (www.epilepsy.com).
Myoclonic seizures – A myoclonic seizure is very brief, only lasting a matter of seconds. During this few seconds both sides of your body has sudden jerks at exactly the same time. During a myoclonic seizure the patient does not lose consciousness and does not have any memory loss (Orrin Devinsky, 7/2013). A myoclonic seizure can be compared to being in contact with a single jolt of electricity, sudden hiccups, or the jolt of waking up from sleep state very quickly (www.hopkinsmedicine.org) (Orrin Devinsky, 7/2013). Like absence seizures, myoclonic seizures are hard to diagnose and usually over looked because the seizures are so brief.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay
The second category is “partial seizures”. When partial seizure takes place there is a large amount of electrical discharge in a certain area of the brain (Mary Ellen Ellis, July 25, 2012). Since only a specific location of the brain is effected, only a specific location of the body will be effected, depending on the location of the seizure in the brain. There are two types of partial seizures; Complex partial seizures, and simple partial seizures.


Simple partial seizures: A typical simple partial seizure usually last between 30 seconds to two minutes (emedicine.medscape.com). When a patient has a simple partial seizure they are fully awake, alert, and able to interact with peers around them. The patient might lose one of their senses temporarily, be unable to move one of their fingers, or even stiffen one of their body parts (www.epilepsy.com). For the seizure to be considered a “simple partial seizure” memory, awareness, and consciousness must be preserved.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay
Complex partial seizure – Similar to simple partial seizures, a complex partial seizure typically last between 30 seconds and two minutes (emedicine.medscape.com). During a complex partial seizure there are symptoms known as automatisms. Automatisms consist of lip-smacking, chewing, walking or pacing back and forth, swallowing, patting or fumbling (emedicine.medscape.com). A main difference between the two types of partial seizures is; consciousness, awareness, or memory is impaired.
Unlike primary generalized seizures, partial seizures usually have a warning sign to inform the patient a seizure is near. This warning sign is called an “aura” (Columbia University, P. (2013)). An aura usually takes place a few seconds, or a few minutes before the seizure occurs. Aura’s can come in many different ways, such as; numbness, headaches, being light-headed, upset stomach, dizziness, the sensation of fear, forced thinking, abnormal sensations, or unusual tingle in a certain area of your body. When an epileptic patient senses one or more of these symptoms there is high probability a partial seizure will be soon to follow (William H. Blahd, Jr, August 25, 2011).Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Types of Epileptic Treatment
The most common type of epileptic treatment is anti-epileptic drugs or AEG’s. With over twenty different choices seventy percent of epileptic patients choose anti-epileptic drugs. Although these medications to not cure epilepsy, it only suppresses the seizures (see figure #3, located on the top of the next page) (www.webmd.com). The way this medication works is by lowering the amount of electricity each neuron passes in the brain. This type of treatment is very useful in cases of generalized seizures. The only down fall from using anti-epileptic drugs is the side effects and because the medication acts on the brain and the body there is numerous side effects. The main four side effects are headaches, balancing troubles, more difficult to focus your eyes, and trouble thinking properly. This medication is not guaranteed to work; in some cases patients experience both seizures and side effects. When this occurs a new treatment is needed. This can be a switch to a different anti-epileptic drug or a non-medicated treatment (Juan G Ochoa, Selim R Benbadis). If a patient does not have a seizure for two years and shows no sign of epilepsy on an EEG the doctor will slowly begin to ease off the medication. (FAULKNER M. A. (2014))Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

The other option of treatment for patients with epilepsy is the non-pharmaceutical route. Although anti-epileptic drugs have the highest success rate, non-medicated treatment has substantial research to support it (www.epilepsyontario.org). Brain surgery is the most common non-medicated treatment; the only issue with brain surgery is that it only works for partial seizures. The reason why is only works on partial seizures is because doctors can locate the specific area of the brain and remove sections of it. On grand mal seizures both hemispheres are triggered at the same time, in order to fix the epileptic problems doctors would have to remove too much of the brain, the patient would not live (www.epilepsyontario.org). New research always shows diet can be very beneficial; his is called the ketogenic diet. Its takes a lot of commitments considering no sweets or treats are allowed and 80 percent of the diet must be fatty foods, but low in carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet has success rates from 30 percent up to 50 percent (www.epilepsyontario.com).Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Further research
Epilepsy has become more and more common in the past 20 years. Now that it has become more common scientists all over the world are beginning to test for a cure, weather that is a new class of medicine, gene therapy, or a non-medicated cure. The newest research for curing epilepsy is gene therapy. In 2009 scientist were able to figure out that the gene for epilepsy is located on chromosome 15 also known as “15q13.3”. (www.sciencedaily.com). With this knowledge and the proper technologies scientists can inject a virus containing the normal gene into chromosome where the epileptic mutation is. From there the normal gene will splice into the DNA strand, fixing the abnormal gene. In result epilepsy will be cured from the patient, and when they reproduce they can pass on a normal gene to their children. With this being said we can potentially remove epilepsy from our society. So far scientists have been able to cure rats with epilepsy using gene therapy, and now they have also been successful in Border Collie dogs. (Keijiro MizukamiAkira Yabukihye-Sook ChangUddin, M.) Another example of further research is new drug classes for epilepsy that are advancing each year.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay A good example of this is: September 2013 a new epileptic drug called Perampanel was released in United States. This new drug showed up to 35 percent more responsive outcomes than any other drug on the market. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). The only factor that is holding science back from curing epilepsy is funding. There is not enough funding going into epilepsy research. With the proper amount of Government funding or public donations epilepsy would be cured within the matter of five years from now.

Physiological Issues with Epileptic patients
Epilepsy does not affect the patient only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Patients who suffer from epilepsy also have to deal with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem and epilepsy go hand and hand because patients with epilepsy are afraid of going out in public, or even doing the normal day to day things because the thought of having a seizure in public. (Ogden, 2005) It is extremely embarrassing for a patient suffering from epilepsy to have a seizure in front of their friends, family, or even strangers. Another emotional barrier that is part of suffering from epilepsy is the thought of never getting a driver’s license. Not getting a driver’s license makes everything in a normal adult life difficult. From getting to work, or getting groceries, or any sort of transportation. In some cases epilepsy makes the patient one hundred percent dependent on other people.Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay

Life with epilepsy makes any day to day task more difficult. Epilepsy has impacted millions of people in a negative manner but further research is getting close to a cure, by using gene therapy research, and finding new classes of medicine. With the proper funding from the government epileptic medicine will continue to grow and be redefined. The research going into epilepsy is constantly growing, at this rate epilepsy will have a definite cure within the next decade, and using gene therapy epilepsy will also be removed from our society all together, allowing everyone to live epileptic free. Epilepsy Warning Assignment Essay