A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity that occurs in the brain. Epilepsy, a condition causing recurrent and non-provoked seizures.
There are two major kinds of seizures. Generalized seizures affect the complete brain. Partial or focal seizures affect only a part of the brain. A mild seizure can be difficult to detect. It may last for several seconds, during which one loses awareness.
Seizures that are strong can trigger seizures and uncontrollable muscle spasms which may last anywhere from between a few seconds and several minutes. When a seizure is strong it is possible for people to become confused or lose their consciousness. Afterward, you might not have any memory of what happened.
One of the Best Neurologist in Delhi said Symptoms of seizures vary. Some people with epilepsy may look blank for a short period of time when they experience a seizure, whereas some shake their legs or arms. The fact that one has a single seizure doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she suffer from epilepsy. Two seizures at least without any known trigger and occurring within 24 hours is usually required to evaluate the diagnosis of epilepsy.
Reasons why one may experience seizures are
- Head trauma
- High fever
- Low blood sugar levels
Epilepsy can happen to anyone However, it’s more prevalent in young children than in adults. Also, chances of epilepsy is slightly higher for males than females.
There’s no cure or treatment for epilepsy. However, the condition can be controlled with medications as well as other methods.
Treatment with medication or surgery is able to control seizures in most people suffering from epilepsy. Some individuals require treatment for lifetime to prevent seizures, while for others seizures, it may disappear someday.
Symptoms of Epilepsy and Seizures
Most Neurologists explain two types of seizures and their symptoms, these are:
Partial seizures are results of abnormal activity only in one brain area These are referred to as focal or partial seizures.
- No loss of consciousness: These kinds of seizures do not cause any loss of awareness or consciousness. These types of seizures alter the emotions or alter the way that things look or smell or taste. The type of seizure could result in the involuntary jerking movement of one body part, for example, leg or arm, as well as a variety of sensory manifestations, like tingling, dizziness or flashing lights.
- Loss of consciousness or awareness: This is also known as complex partial seizures, causing a loss awareness or consciousness. The type of seizure could appear as if the patient is in a dream. In impaired consciousness focal seizure, the patient might stare the space but not react normally to the environment around or make repetitive actions, like hand chewing, rubbing or walking around in circles.
Seizures that are believed to affect all brain regions are referred to as generalized seizures. Following types of generalized seizures are known as per one of the top neurologists in Delhi:
- Absence seizures: Absence seizures are more common in children. They’re defined by staring at space without or with any subtle body movements, such as lips smacking or eye blinks and can last anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds. The seizures might occur in clusters, and can occur frequently, as many as 100 times per day and may cause an instant loss of consciousness.
- Clonic Seizures: Clonic seizures are caused by repetitive or rhythmic movement of muscles that is jerking, it affects face, arms, and neck.
- Atonic seizures: Atonic seizures or drop seizures result in the loss of muscle control. Legs are mostly affected due to this and it may make a person fall.
- Myoclonic seizures. Myoclonic seizures trigger sudden flashes of twitches or jerks and typically occur in the upper part of the body or legs, arms, and shoulders.
- Tonic seizures: This makes muscles stiff and may also affect the consciousness. Muscles located in the back of arms, and legs are the main target of this type of seizure. One who experience this may even fall on the floor.
- Thenic-clonic seizure. Tonic-clonic seizures can result in sudden loss of consciousness as well as your body stiffening, twitching or shaking. it can also result in the loss of bladder control, or a tendency to bite your tongue.
Difference between Epilepsy and Seizures
According to a Neurologist from one of the best hospitals in Delhi, Seizures are the major symptoms of epilepsy. One seizure may be a one-off event. One may feel multiple seizures. Doctors also sometimes misdiagnose epilepsy as nonepileptic seizures. Nonepileptic seizures are not triggered by abnormal brain electrical activity. These seizures can be caused by a variety of factors, including emotional, psychological, and physical causes.
Cause of Epilepsy
The exact cause of epilepsy is still unknown while seizures can be caused by many things. There are many possible causes.
- Traumatic brain injury
- Very high fever, serious or severe illness
- Brain malformations
- Lack of oxygen at the time of birth
- Vascular diseases
- The brain is not getting enough oxygen
- Brain tumor
- Infectious diseases like AIDS or meningitis can be contracted.
- Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia
- Prenatal injury
- Maternal drug use
- Genetic or developmental disorders, or neurological diseases
Some types of epilepsy are caused by heredity. There is only 1 percent chance that someone will develop epilepsy in the general population before age 20. The risk of developing epilepsy if someone has a parent with epilepsy increases to 2 to 5 percentage.
Some people may be more susceptible to seizures due to environmental triggers because of their genetic traits.
Epilepsy can occur at any age. Epilepsy diagnosis is usually made in the early years of childhood or at 60.
An epilepsy diagnosis requires a lot of patience. This is not something that can be done in one lab test or hospital visit.
Epilepsy is determined by the severity of seizures, their timing, and how long one is experiencing them. A neurologist will perform a variety of tests and ask many questions in order to examine.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging. (MRI). MRI helps doctor to see the structure and function of brain. This test can reveal damaged tissue, which could lead to seizures.
- Functional MRI. This type MRI shows where brain needs more oxygen to speak, move or perform certain tasks.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG): The most commonly test in which the brain doctor will place sensors on scalp to record the electrical activity of the brain. Any changes in the normal brain wave pattern or abnormal EEGs indicates the chances of epilepsy.
- Blood tests: These tests can also be used to rule out other causes of seizures, such as infections or genetic conditions.
- A computerized tomography scan (CT): This creates X-Ray images of brain. This scan can be used to help the doctor rule other causes of seizures, such as bleeding or tumors.
- Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS): An MRS is similar to an MRI. It creates images. This allows the doctor to compare how different parts work together. Unlike the MRI. It only focuses on the areas of brain that the doctor wishes to examine more.
Treatment of Epilepsy in India
Whenever a patient is diagnosed with Epilepsy or seizures, A specialist neurologist doctor will begin the treatment with medications and observe how the brain responds to the medications along with a specific diet plan. If in case, the medication and diet fail to have a positive impact, the neuro doctors go for surgery.
Medicine for Epilepsy
The medications for epilepsy, often referred to as anticonvulsant or anti-seizure medications modify the way the brain cells work and transmit messages to the brain cells that communicate with each other. Epilepsy medicines can decrease the frequency and severity of seizures but cannot stop a seizure already taking place.
The medicine is absorbed by the stomach. It then travels with the bloodstream until it reaches the brain. It alters neurotransmitters in ways that limit the electrical activity that can lead to seizures.
A lot of children suffering from epilepsy who don’t have epilepsy-related symptoms will eventually be able to stop medication and lead a normal life without seizures. Many adults are able to stop taking medication after at least two years without seizures. It depends on working of brain and so the doctor will provide with advice when it is the right time to stop taking seizure medicines.
The process of finding the correct medicine and its dosage for treatment is complicated. The doctor will look at medical condition and frequency of seizures coming, age, as well as other factors in deciding which medicines. The doctor will also examine the other medicines the patient might be taking to ensure that the anti-epileptic medication doesn’t interfere with them.
During initial phase, any good neuro specialist doctor will most likely prescribe a single medication in an extremely low dose. With time might increase the dosage until the seizures are controlled.
Some of the side effects include:
- Weight loss
- Trouble keeping track of things
- Trouble with thinking
- Bones that are deteriorating
- Trouble talking
- Mood swings and Anxiety
Diet for Epilepsy patient in India
Neurologists and Nutritionists or Dieticians prescribe a high fat low carbohydrate diet. Keto Diet is also prescribed sometimes. But diet mostly depend on the diagnoses
Therapy for Epilepsy
- Vagus nerve stimulation. In vagus nerve stimulation, doctors place an instrument called a vagus nerve stimulator beneath the chest’s skin, like the heart pacemaker. The wires of the stimulator connect to the vagus neuron in the patient’s neck. The battery-powered device transmits short flashes of electrical energy to the vagus nerve to the brain, it can only decrease seizures by 20-40%..
- Deep brain stimulation. In deep brain stimulation, surgeons place electrodes in a particular area inside brain. These electrodes connect the device that is implanted inside your chest. The generator is constantly sending electrical impulses to the brain at intervals set by time which can reduce the frequency of seizures. The stimulation of the brain is commonly employed for patients with seizures who aren’t getting better after taking medications.
Epilepsy Surgery in India
Indians are hesitant to surgeries, especially neuro or brain surgeries. And when it comes to epilepsy surgery in India, there are risks involved too.
If medications don’t reduce seizures Am alternative is surgery.
The most commonly performed surgery is known as resection. It involves removing the region of the brain from which seizures begin. Most of the time the temporal lobe will be removed through a procedure referred to as temporal lobectomy. In certain cases, the procedure can end seizures.
In certain cases when one will remain awake during the surgery (Awake brain surgery). This is to allow doctors to speak to prevent removal of the part of the brain that is responsible for vital functions like hearing, vision, speech or movement.
If the region that is the brain is too large or significant to be removed it is possible to perform a procedure called multiple subpial transection or disconnection. The surgeon cuts the brain to stop the neural pathway. This stops the seizures from spreading into other parts of the brain.
Following surgery, some can cut down on antiseizure drugs or discontinue their use.
There are risks with every procedure, such as a response to anesthesia and bleeding and infections. The brain surgery can often result in changes to the brain’s cognitive function.