Epilepsy - Causes, Risk factors, First aid and more

Epilepsy is a fairly common neurological disorder, it affects about 65 million people around the world.

It's possible for anyone to develop epilepsy, even though it's more common in younger children and in older adults. It is said to occur more slightly in male than in the female gender. There's no cure yet for epilepsy but it can be managed with medications and other strategies. (Morrian, 2018).

What is epilepsy: 

Epilepsy is a nervous system or brain disorder in which clusters of neurons or nerve cells in the brain signals abnormally. It can also be referred to as a chronic brain disorder that brings unprovoked and recurrent seizure. A sudden abnormal rush of electrical activity in the brain.

What are the types of epilepsy:

1. Generalized epilepsy: It occurs when there's a wide spread of seizure activity in the both hemisphere of the brain. Generalized seizures are further categorized into:
Petitmal (absence seizures) 
Grand mal
Atonic seizures 
Hyoclonic seizures.

2. Partial Epilepsy:  This occurs when the episode of seizure activity becomes limited to one part of the brain hemisphere.
There are two types of partial or focal epilepsy, which includes :
Focal epilepsy with with loss of awareness (complex partial epilepsy).
Focal epilepsy with loss of awareness (complex partial epilepsy).

what are the causes of epilepsy?

In about half of epileptic population, has no identifiable cause. But in others the condition may be tracked to various factors which includes:
  • Head trauma 
  • Genetic factors 
  • Infectious diseases 
  • Brain conditions 
  • Developmental disorders 
  • Prenatal injury

What are the risk factors of Epilepsy?

  • Dementia 
  • Age
  • Family history of epilepsy 
  • Head injuries 
  • Infections of the brain.

What are the signs and symptoms of epilepsy?

  • A staring spell 
  • Temporary confusion
  • Uncontrollable jerking movement of the arms and legs.
  •  Partial or complete loss of consciousness or awareness.
  • Psychic symptoms. eg fever and anxiety.

How to prevent epilepsy 

Epileptic related seizure can occur due to number of factors which can often be prevented.
Here are some tips that can help reduce the risk of having an epileptic seizure attack.
  • Rest: Get plenty sleep each night for about 8 to 10 hours. Set and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs 
  • Comply to all medical regimen 
  • Abstain from flashy lights and visual stimulants 
  • Eat healthy diet 
  • Avoid playing video games.

First aid for epileptic attack

Here are  Few tips on what you can do to help Epileptic patient during seizure:

1. Ease the individual to the floor.
2. Turn Him/ Her gently onto one side (laterally). This will help the individual breathe.
3. Clear the surrounding making it free of anything hard or sharp that can cause injury. 
4. Support the head with something soft and flat, like a folded jacket.
5. Remove eyeglasses.
6. Loosen ties or anything around the neck that may make it hard to breathe.
Time the seizure.

Never do any of the following things:

1. Do not hold the individual down or try to stop his or her movements.
2. Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. This can injure teeth or the jaw. A person having a seizure cannot swallow.
3.Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth breaths (like CPR). People usually start breathing again on their own after a seizure.
4.Do not offer the person water or food until he or she is fully alert.