Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that is characterised by recurrent seizures.These seizures happen due to the alterations in the brain function or its structure. A seizure is nothing but a sudden rush of electrical impulses activating to or within the brain which can cause vigorous shaking for either brief or a prolonged period. Dr. Vinod Puri, Senior Director - Department of Neurology & Head - Comprehensive Epilepsy Services, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket explains the causes of Epilepsy. Read below:
What Causes Epilepsy?
The underlying cause of Epilepsy is unidentifiable in half of the people. However, in the other half affected by epilepsy the causes can be the following:
The seizures one experiences characterise the type of epilepsy. Neurologist analyses the medical history, in particular, the family history associated with epilepsy. The underlying genetic abnormality may be the cause of epilepsy in a variety of epilepsies like Juvenile myochronic epilepsy (JME), childhood absences etc.
An injury or trauma to the brain can cause epilepsy. Stroke is also a primary reason for this condition especially in people over 45 years.
Epilepsy is closely linked with developmental disorders like autism and neurofibromatosis, neural migration disorders etc.
AIDS, viral encephalitis, meningitis, tuberculosis, cysticercosis are some infectious diseases that can cause epilepsy.
Babies before being born are sensitive to brain damage which can be caused by numerous factors like poor nutrition, oxygen deficiency, and infection to the mother. This brain damage can cause epilepsy and even cerebral palsy.
What are the symptoms of Epilepsy?
Repeated seizures are the primary symptoms of epilepsy. However, the seizures can be accompanied by the following symptoms as well:
- Being unable to follow or respond to instructions
- Brief moments of blackout
- Falling for no given reason
- Panicking for no reason
- Rapid and hasty instances of chewing, with no any apparent reason
- Inappropriate and repetitive movements
What are the Risk Factors for Epilepsy?
Many factors can increase the risk of epilepsy, including:
Epilepsy can occur at any age; however, children and older adults are at an increased risk of developing epilepsy.
Any kind of head injury raises the risk of epilepsy, especially motor accidents.
Family History and Genetics
People who have a family history of epilepsy are at an increased risk of developing epilepsy.
Epilepsy can also occur in people with dementia.
History of Seizures in Childhood
In some cases, children with high fever and seizures during childhood can develop epilepsy later in their lives.
Epilepsy can be controlled with active treatment by a neurologist. It is essential to remain positive and calm during an episode of seizures. With a controlled epilepsy treatment,a patient can indeed live a healthy life. If you are based out of Delhi, make sure to consult the best neurologist in Delhi at Max Healthcare to improve yours or your loved one’s condition. Consulting our neurologist for advice and medication will help you to control the symptoms of epilepsy to a farther extent.