What is Epilepsy?
It is not a single disease or condition, but a combination of both and has different kinds. It’s basically a seizure disorder in which nerve cells in the brain fire electrical impulses at a rate of up to four times higher than normal which causes an electrical storm in the brain, known as the seizure. The brain cannot function normally in this condition.
Different Types of Epilepsy:
As there are many kinds of Epilepsy with different symptoms and patterns so it is important to know which kind do you have. This will help your doctor to choose the right treatment for you. The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) came up with a new way of classifying seizures of Epilepsy in 2017. So they have divide Epilepsy into three basic types based on the seizures one experience.
- Generalized epilepsy
- Focal epilepsy/ Partial epilepsy
- Generalized and focal epilepsy
In people younger than age 40, about 50% of new cases of epilepsy are generalized seizures, and 50% are partial.
- Generalized epilepsy:
In this type of epilepsy, seizure starts quickly on both sides of the brain and affect the network of brain quickly. These have six more types;
- Absence seizures: This is also called “petit mal seizures,” it causes a blank stare. It includes the repetitive movement like lip smacking or blinking or sometimes totally absence of movement like staring into space.
- Tonic seizures: It causes muscle stiffness.
- Atonic seizures: It leads to loss of muscle control and can make you fall down suddenly.
- Clonic seizures: These are specified by repeated, jerky muscle movements of the face, neck, and arms.
- Myoclonic seizures: They cause spontaneous quick twitching of the arms and legs.
- Tonic-clonic seizures: These are generalized motor seizures also named as “grand mal seizures.” They cause your body to move in ways you can’t control.
- Focal epilepsy/ Partial epilepsy
In this type of epilepsy, seizures develop on either side of the brain so it’s also named called “partial seizures.” Its types include:
- Focal aware seizures
- Focal impaired awareness seizures
- Focal motor seizures
- Focal non-motor seizures
- Generalized and Focal Epilepsy
Like the name tells us that, this is a type of epilepsy in which people have both generalized and focal seizures.
Treatment of Epilepsy:
Depending upon the severity of types of epilepsy experienced by patients; the available treatment options are:
- Medication (Anti-epileptic, anticonvulsant, anti-seizure drugs):
First, available option to treat epilepsy is Medication. These medications are also called anti-seizure or anticonvulsant medications as they help to reduce the number of seizures as well as eliminate them. The medicines work by stabilizing the electrical activity of the brain as changing the way your brain cells work and send messages to each other. In about 7 to 8 in 10 cases, seizures are well controlled by medication.
- Vagus nerve stimulator:
It’s a small device named neurostimulator placed under the skin near the chest. It looks for patterns in your brain activity that can lead to a seizure and sends out a little pulse to interrupt it.
- Ketogenic diet:
Those people who don’t respond to medications have another option of Ketogenic diet. This is kind of high fat, low carbohydrate diet.
- Brain surgery:
This is another option to treat epilepsy. The area of the brain that causes seizures activity can be removed or altered. It has two main kinds.
- Resective surgery.In this type, the surgeon will remove the part of the brain that is causing seizures. Most often it’s a part of the brain which never controls basic things like speech, movement, sight or hearing.
- Disconnective surgery.In this type surgeon cut the path between the nerves, causing the seizure.
Early Epilepsy Diagnosis and Treatment Can Make All the Difference – Future of Personal Health https://t.co/uC8lOD1ssd
— Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario (@EpilepsySWO) September 14, 2017
Researchers are also studying stereotactic radiosurgery as a possible treatment for some types of epilepsy. In this procedure, radiations are directed on the specific area of the brain causing seizures.