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Fighting Epilepsy

Tuesday, 15 Feb 2011 10:19 AM

Epilepsy and its Causes:

Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system. It is characterized by loss of consciousness and convulsions. Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of neuron activity can cause epilepsy. It varies from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development.

One of the causes of epilepsy can be an imbalance in neurotransmitters and hereditary causes.

Brain tumors, alcoholism, and Alzheimer's disease can also cause epilepsy. Other epilepsy causes are infectious diseases like meningitis, viral encephalitis, and AIDS.

Withdrawal from antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs are also among the causes of epilepsy.

Environmental and occupational exposure to lead and carbon monoxide can be considered causes of epilepsy.

Epilepsy Symptoms:

Epilepsy symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. Epilepsy symptoms also depend on the condition, age, and activity level of a person. A common symptoms of epilepsy are;

* Visual disturbances
* Anxiety or restlessness
* Uncontrolled jerking of the body
* Falling and loss of consciousness
* Uncontrollable muscle twitching
* Convulsions


Complex partial epilepsy symptoms include unusual behavior such as smacking of the lips and walking in circles.

Most epilepsy medications are in the form of tablets and syrup. Epilepsy medications include:

* Carbamazepine ( Tegretol, TegretolXR, Carbatrol)
* Clonazepam (Klonopin)
* Ethosuximide (Zarontin)
* Phenobarbital
* Phenytoin (Dilantin)
* Primidone (Mysoline)
* Valproic acid (Depakene)
* Divalproex sodium (Depakote)

Diastat can be prescribed to stop cluster seizures or prolonged seizures. Other methods for the treatment of epilepsy include surgery, special diets, or vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).

Epilepsy is common in children. Epilepsy in children can range from febrile seizures and occasional non-febrile seizures to infantile spasms. They can occur daily and are difficult to treat.

Children with epilepsy can carry on with their normal life. Adult supervision during sports, outings, and other activities is always recommended. ACTH is given by injection to treat children with infantile spasms or severe seizures.

The latest medical breakthroughs in the treatment of epilepsy include the development of a device to detect oncoming seizures. Successful implantations have also been performed. Trigeminal nerve stimulation is being developed for the treatment of epilepsy.


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