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Epilepsy : Overview


Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of bizarre 
behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.Anyone can develop epilepsy. Epilepsy affects both males and females of all races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.Seizure symptoms can vary widely. Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a couple of seconds during a seizure, while others repeatedly twitch their arms or legs. Having one seizure doesn't suggest you've got epilepsy. At least two unprovoked seizures are generally required for an epilepsy diagnosis.Treatment with medications or sometimes surgery can control seizures for the bulk of individuals with epilepsy. Some people require lifelong treatment to regulate seizures, except for others, the seizures eventually get away . Some children with epilepsy may outgrow the condition with age.


Because epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity within the 
brain, seizures can affect any process your brain coordinates. Seizure signs and symptoms may include:


Ø  Temporary confusion

Ø  A staring spell

Ø  Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs

Ø  Loss of consciousness or awareness

Ø  Psychic symptoms such as fear, anxiety

Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. In most cases, an individual 
with epilepsy will tend to possess an equivalent sort of seizure whenever , therefore the symptoms are going to be similar from episode to episode.


Epilepsy has no identifiable cause in about half the people with the condition. In the other half, the condition may be traced to various factors, including:


Ø     Genetic influence. Some sorts of epilepsy, which are categorized by the sort of seizure you experience or the a part of the brain that's affected, run in families. In these cases, it's likely that there's a genetic influence.


Ø     Head trauma. Head trauma as a results of a car accident or other traumatic injury can cause epilepsy.

Ø     Brain conditions. Brain conditions that cause damage to the brain, like brain tumors or strokes, can cause epilepsy. Stroke may be a leading explanation for epilepsy in adults older than age 35.

Ø     Infectious diseases. Infectious diseases, like meningitis, AIDS and viral encephalitis, can cause epilepsy.

Ø     Prenatal injury. Before birth, babies are sensitive to brain damage that would be caused by several factors, like an infection within the mother, poor nutrition or oxygen deficiencies. This brain damage may result in epilepsy or spastic paralysis .

Ø     Developmental disorders. Epilepsy can sometimes be related to developmental disorders, like autism and neurofibromatosis.

Risk factors

Certain factors may increase your risk of epilepsy:


Age - The onset of epilepsy is commonest in children and older adults, but the condition can occur at any age.


Family history - If you've got a case history of epilepsy, you'll be at an increased risk of developing a seizure disorder.

Head injuries - Head injuries are liable for 
some cases of epilepsy. You can reduce your risk by wearing a safety belt while riding during a car and by wearing a helmet while bicycling, skiing, riding a motorbike or engaging in other activities with a high risk of head injury.

Stroke and other vascular diseases - Stroke and other vessel 
(vascular) diseases can cause brain damage which will trigger epilepsy. You can take variety of steps to scale back your risk of those diseases, including limiting your intake of alcohol and avoiding cigarettes, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.

Dementia - Dementia can increase the danger 
of epilepsy in older adults.

Brain infections - Infections like 
meningitis, which causes inflammation in your brain or medulla spinalis , can increase your risk.

Seizures in childhood - High fevers in childhood can sometimes be related to 
seizures. Children who have seizures thanks to high fevers generally won't develop epilepsy. The risk of epilepsy increases if a toddler features a long seizure, another systema nervosum condition or a case history of epilepsy.



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