International Epilepsy Day 2024: What causes epileptic seizures? Check the detailed treatment process

International Epilepsy Day 2024 serves as a poignant reminder of the global effort to raise awareness about epilepsy. Epileptic seizures can be triggered by a variety of factors, including flashing lights, lack of sleep, stress, and certain medications. However, triggers can vary greatly between individuals. Epilepsy treatment typically involves a combination of medication, lifestyle modifications, and, in some cases, surgery or other interventions.

Dr. GV Subbiah Choudhary, Senior Consultant Neurologist and Clinical Director, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad explains why it is important for people with epilepsy to work closely with health care professionals to develop an individualized treatment plan that effectively addresses their condition. Manages and improves the quality of their life.

What are the triggers of seizures?

“Seizure triggers are events or something else that happens before the seizure starts,” says Dr. Chaudhary. Here are some commonly reported seizure triggers shared by Dr. Chaudhary:

– Tension

– Sleep-related problems like not getting good sleep, not getting enough sleep, sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

– Alcohol use, alcohol withdrawal, recreational drug use.

– Hormonal changes or menstrual hormonal changes.

– Any illness, fever.

– Flashing lights or patterns.

– skipping meals.

– Excessive physical exertion.

– Specific foods (caffeine is a common trigger).

– Dehydration.

– Certain times of the day or night.

– Use of some medicines. Diphenhydramine, an ingredient found in over-the-counter cold, allergy, and sleep products, is a reported trigger.

– Missed a dose of anti-seizure medication.

When diagnosing epilepsy, Dr. GV Subbaiah comments, “Symptoms and medical history are important and may include several tests to find the cause of seizures:

– A neurological examination.

-Blood Test A blood sample can detect signs of infection, genetic conditions, or other conditions associated with seizures.

– genetic testing. In some people with epilepsy, genetic testing can provide more information about the condition and its treatment. Genetic testing is often done in children, but may also be helpful in some adults with epilepsy.

You may also have brain imaging tests and scans that detect changes in the brain:

– Electroencephalogram (EEG): This is the most common test used to diagnose epilepsy. In this test, small metal discs called electrodes are attached to your scalp with an adhesive substance or cap. Electrodes record your brain’s electrical activity.

“In epilepsy, it is common for the patterns of brain waves to change. This can be done while you are awake or asleep. Recording the seizures can help determine what type of seizures you are having. Or other conditions can be ruled out, says Dr. Subbiah.

– Computerized tomography (CT) scan: CTscan can detect tumors, hemorrhages, or cysts in the brain that may cause epilepsy.

– Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MR uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create a detailed view of the brain. But MRI allows a more detailed view of the brain than CTscan.

– Positron emission tomography (PET): PETscans use small amounts of radioactive material in short bursts. , Areas of the brain with lower metabolism may pinpoint locations where seizures occur.

– Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) This type of test is used if MRI and EEG do not pinpoint the location in the brain where seizures begin.

– Neuropsychological testing.

epilepsy treatment

Treatments to control epilepsy include anti-seizure medications, special diets (usually in addition to anti-seizure medications), and surgery.

anti-seizure medications

Anti-seizure medications can control seizures in about 60% to 70% of people with epilepsy. Anti-seizure drug treatment is individualized. Doctors may try one or more drugs, doses of drugs, or a combination of drugs to find what works best to control seizures.

The choice of anti-seizure drug depends on:

– seizure type

– Prior reaction to anti-seizure medications.

– Other associated medical conditions that a patient may have

– Possibility of interactions with other medicines you take.

– Side effects of anti-seizure medication (if any).

– patient’s age

– general health.

– Cost.

Because some anti-seizure medications are linked to birth defects, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

– If anti-seizure medications don’t control seizures, the doctor will discuss other treatment options, including a special diet, medical devices, or surgery.

epilepsy surgery

When medications do not provide adequate control of seizures, epilepsy surgery may be an option. With epilepsy surgery, a surgeon removes the area of ​​your brain that causes seizures.

Surgery is usually done when testing shows that:

– Your seizures begin in a small, well-defined area of ​​your brain.

– The surgery will not affect vital functions such as speech, language, movement, vision or hearing.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

It also plays an important role

– Taking medicine correctly.

– Enough Sleep.

– Exercise

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