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Q.1) What does Epilepsy mean?

Ans : Epilepsy means a disorder of brain function causing recurrent convulsions.
 
The Types of Epilepsy are
It usually depends on the area of the brain affected by abnormal electrical activity.
  • Generalized and
  • Partial
Classification
I) Primary Generalized Seizures
  • Generalized Tonic-Clonic ( Grand-Mal)
  • Absence (Petit-mal)
  • Myoclonic
  • Atonic
II) Partial Seizures
  • Simple Partial
  • Complex Partial
  • Partial with secondary generalization.
III) Unclassified seizures.
 

Q.2) Whom does it affect the most?

Ans: It usually develops in children or young adults. Gender is not a significant factor.

 

Q.3) How does Epilepsy progress?
Ans: Recurrent episodes of altered cerebral function associated with paroxysmal excessive discharge of cerebral neurons.
 
Q.4) What are the causes of Epilepsy?
Ans: Usually the underlying causes of epilepsy are not clear.
  • Geneticl factor- family history
  • Damage to the brain caused by : Infection, e.g.. meningitis,
  • Stroke,
  • Scaring,
  • Following a severe head injury,
  • Brain tumour,
  • Birth trauma,
  • Degenerative disorders of the brain,
  • Metabolic disorders,
  • Toxins,
  • Drug or alcohol withdrawal and
  • Cerebral malformation.

          .

  
Q.5)What are the symptoms of Epilepsy?

Ans:  The symptoms of  Primary Generalized Seizures   
                                                                                          more...
Partial Seizures 

  • It is initiated with an aura.

  • Automatisms

  • Amnesia for the event. 

 Q.6)What are the Trigger factors of convulsions ?
Ans: Trigger factors of convulsions are
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Emotional stress.
  • Missing a meal.
  • Excessive alcohol or drug consumption.
  • Flashing lights, and flickering television and computer screens.
  • Physical or mental exertion.
  • Infection.
  • Fever.
  • Uncommon triggers: loud noise, hot baths, music, reading etc.
 
Q.7)What investigations are done?
Ans: The tests conducted are
  • Complete  blood count, 
  • ESR.
  • Blood urea, electrolytes, calcium, glucose.
  • Liver function tests.
  • Serological tests for syphilis.
  • HIV serology in high risk groups.
  • Chest and skull radiographs.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)  
  • Computed tomography (CT) of the brain.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Q.8) What are the treatment measures?
Ans:  If only one seizure has occurred, treatment may not be needed.
 
Immediate care of seizures
  • Move person away from danger (fire, water, machinery)
  • After convulsions cease, turn patient into semi-prone position,.
  • Summon medical help.
  • Prevent tongue bite by inserting a padded gag or tightly rolled handkerchief between the teeth.
Anticonvulsant drug therapy
Usually considered after two seizures have occurred. In some cases (very abnormal EEG or strong family history) it may be considered after a single unprovoked seizure.
Anticonvulsant drugs generally used are as follows:
  • Benzodiazepines, 
  • Barbiturates, 
  • Diphenylhydantoin, 
  • Iminostilbene derivatives
Withdrawal of anticonvulsant therapy
After a period of complete control for seizures[2-4 years], withdrawal of medication may be considered by the attending physician.
  
Q.9) What is the prognosis?
Ans: Childhood onset epilepsy, particularly classical absence seizures, carries the best prognosis. Seizures, which begin in adult life, particularly those with partial features, are the most likely to recur.
 
Q.10) What is the follow-up of Epilepsy?
Ans: Periodic clinic visit are essential to evaluate:
  1. Seizure control
  2. Side effects of anticonvulsants.
  3. Serum anticonvulsant levels
 
Q.11) Important things one should know about Epilepsy?
Ans: The important things to keep in mind are
  • Avoidance of trigger factors.
  • Relaxation exercises.
  • Eating at regular times.
  • Avoiding drinking  alcohol.
  • Checking with the doctor before taking medications that may interact with anticonvulsant drugs.
  • Having someone with you if you are swimming or playing water sports.
  • Wearing protective headgear when participating in contact sports.
  • Talking to your doctor before applying for a driving license
  • Consulting an advisor before choosing a career
  • Consulting an obstetrician if you are planning a pregnancy.
 

 

 

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