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Epilepsy is a severe mental disorder that causes sporadic, uninterrupted seizures. A psychological seizure is a manifestation of a sudden rush of unexpected electrical activity in the human brain.
There are two main types of epileptic seizures that affect humans: Focal seizures, that affects a small part of the brain and generalized seizures, that affect the whole brain. Small focal seizures can go unrecognized as it can be a brief episode lasting seconds during which the patients lack total awareness.
But severe seizures can cause uncontrollable muscle spasms and twitches. And it can last several minutes. When a powerful seizure strikes, the patient becomes confused and can lose consciousness. After the seizures go, the patient may have no memory of the seizure happening. Here are conditions that may cause seizures:
- Head trauma
- High fever
- Low blood sugar
- Withdrawal from alcohol
In the U.S today epilepsy affects over 3 million people while the global neurological disorders approach 65 million people. Anybody is exposed to epilepsy, but it targets young children and older adults than the middle-aged adult. And there is evidence that epilepsy attacks more men than it does women. At the moment, there is no known cure for epilepsy, but it can be managed with medication.
Symptoms of epilepsy
The main symptoms of epilepsy are seizures. These can differ from patient to patient and according to the type of fit, or strain. Here is the primary classification of fits and strains of epilepsy:
- Focal seizures
Symptoms of a focal seizure, which is a mild attack, include
- A change in the sense of sight, hearing, touch, and smell
- Twitching of the limbs
A complex seizure may involve loss of consciousness or a complete disorientation of surroundings. These are manifested by:
- Blank stares
- Performance of repetitive movements
- Unresponsiveness to all stimuli
Tonic seizures will cause your muscles to stiffen, while atonic seizures can lead to loss of muscles coordination causing you to fall without warning.
Generalized epileptic seizures affect the whole brain, and there are six types:
- Absence seizures
In this seizure, the patients form a blank stare, blinking and the smacking of the lips. Attention span is brief.
- Atonic seizures
In an atonic seizure, the patient may lose muscle coordination, causing a sudden fall.
- Tonic seizures
Tonic seizure causes muscles stiffness.
- Myoclonic seizures
This seizure causes quick twitching of your arms and legs.
- Clonic seizure
These seizures are characterized by jerky movements of the muscles of the face, arms and the neck.
- Tonic-clonic seizures
The symptoms of tonic-clonic seizures include;
- Uncontrolled shaking
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Stiffening of the body
- Loss of consciousness
- Biting of tongue
Causes of epilepsy
The origins of epilepsy are not known, but a variety of things have been known to cause seizures. Here are possible causes:
- Brain injury
- Injury to the brain after brain surgery
- High fever or severe brain illness
- Lack of oxygen flow into the brain
- Brain tumor
- Alzheimer disease
- HIV aids and meningitis
- Developmental or genetic disorders
If you have parents who have epilepsy, chances are heredity will play a role, and there is a 1 percent chance of contracting epilepsy before your 20th birthday. And if one of your parents is linked to genetics, that increases your risk of developing epilepsy by 4 percent.