Epilepsy... let us talk about it..
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition which affects the nervous system. Epilepsy is also known as a seizure disorder. It is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known medical condition. It affects the nerve cell activity in your brain, causing seizures. During seizures, you may experience abnormal behavior, symptoms and sensations, including loss of consciousness.
About 1 in 26 people in the United States will develop a seizure disorder. And Approximately 10 percent of individuals will experience one or more unprovoked seizures. Having one seizure doesn't mean you have epilepsy. Usually, at least two or more seizures are required for the diagnosis of epilepsy. Seizure signs and symptoms vary. Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others repeatedly twitch their arms or legs.
Treatment of Epilepsy can range from taking anti-seizure medication, called anti-epileptic medication.
Finding the right medication and dosage can be complex. Your doctor will consider your condition, frequency of seizures, your age and other factors when choosing which medication to prescribe. Your doctor will also review any other medications you may be taking, to ensure the anti-epileptic medications won't interact with them.
Surgery is most commonly done when tests show that your seizures originate in a small, well-defined area of your brain that doesn't interfere with vital functions, such as speech, language, motor function, vision or hearing.
Vagus nerve stimulation doctors implant a device called a vagus nerve stimulator underneath the skin of your chest, similar to a heart pacemaker. Wires from the stimulator are connected to the vagus nerve in your neck.
The battery-powered device sends bursts of electrical energy through the vagus nerve and to your brain. It's not clear how this inhibits seizures, but the device can usually reduce seizures by 20 to 40 percent.
A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that mimics the fasting state, called a ketogenic diet, was first used in the 1920s at Mayo Clinic. It has since been discovered to improve seizure control in children with epilepsy that cannot be controlled by medication.
In the ketogenic diet, the body breaks down fats instead of carbohydrates for energy. After a few years, some children may be able to stop the ketogenic diet and remain seizure-free.
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