Falling sickness or epilepsy known to people since ancient times. In many historical sources it is written that this disease suffer various well-known people (Caesar, Napoleon, Dante). How dangerous epilepsy and who her more vulnerable in the modern world?
The disease epilepsy
According to statistics, every hundredth person in the world is found epileptic lesions of the brain cortex which breaks it autonomic, motor, cognitive and sensitive processes. The disease epilepsy is a common neurological disease, the manifestation of which are intermittent, spontaneous seizures. They are caused by the appearance of foci of excitation in certain areas of the brain.
The types of epilepsy
Such mental diseases as epilepsy, is a chronic hidden nature of the flow. Earlier this pathology was considered divine. Often the disease is congenital, in this regard, the first attacks can occur in children who are aged 5 to 10 years, or adolescents. In adults, there are the following types of epilepsy:
- symptomatic, in this type there is a cause, contributing to the formation of abnormal foci of pulsation;
- idiopathic (congenital) can be inherited, even through the generations;
- cryptogenic, it is impossible to determine the exact cause of the foci pulse.
Many patients are often interested in the question, symptomatic epilepsy – what is it? Generally, this type of neurological disease is secondary and develops after metabolic disorders in the brain or damage to its structure (stroke, heart attack, trauma, alcohol dependence, etc.). To manifest, the disease may at any age, to treat this form of very hard. The symptomatic form is divided into two types:
- Generalized. Appears as a result of modifications of the underlying departments. Often a seizure is accompanied by a fall and severe convulsions.
- Partial (focal, local). Is caused by lesions of certain brain area and a violation of passage of signals. The manifestations of seizures can be mental, motor, sensitive, vegetative.
Epilepsy on the background of alcoholism
Alcoholic epilepsy caused by chronic intoxication of the CNS by the breakdown products of alcohol. Other factors considered communicable diseases, arteriosclerosis, injuries – all that accompanies a chronic alcoholic. Epilepsy and alcoholism has different symptoms, manifestation of the disease depends on the severity and duration of the binge. The most basic:
- seizures in the form of spasms and cramps;
- loss of consciousness;
- pain after hangover;
- alcohol absence seizures with dizziness (short-term non-convulsive loss of consciousness);
- focal motor seizures;
- the rolling of eyes.
Alcohol affects the nervous Department, destroying the blood vessels in the brain Department. Often an epileptic attack of a drunken man is manifested in the form of blanching or cyanosis of integuments, the patient grunts or screams, breathing becomes heavy and stifled. Even a single attack when drinking alcoholic beverages may indicate a neurological disease caused by alcoholism.
Psychological nervous illness, which is accompanied by convulsive seizures with unknown cause of their appearance, is called cryptogenic epilepsy. This form of the disease there is no precise clinical settings and a certain age. Attacks provoke the death of nerve cells, is the loss of acquired skills. Cryptogenic epilepsy is divided into temporal and multifocal.
The chances of Contracting a «mystery» form of the disease increase when disease suffered by relatives. Typically, a neurological disorder accompanied by absence seizures, complex partial seizures, tonic-clonic convulsions. Risk factors in cryptogenic form of the disease are:
- viral infection;
- bright light;
- traumatic brain injury;
- loud sounds;
- temperature swings.
Variety of nervous disorders associated with a change in the activity of neurons is called idiopathic epilepsy. Typically, this congenital disorder whose first symptoms can manifest themselves in childhood. This kind of illness can be treated, it is characterized by a favorable prognosis and effective therapy. In idiopathic epilepsy there is no damage of the medulla, but only increases the activity of neurons. The congenital form of the disease characterized generalizovannoe, i.e. absolute loss of consciousness during the attack.
This type of epilepsy also implies that patients have relapses, but there is no structural brain damage. The presence of a disease shows a group of syndromes is myoclonia, absence seizures, tonic-clonic generalized seizures. As a rule, idiopathic epilepsy following forms of the disease:
- benign familial convulsions in the newborn;
- atypical absence;
- juvenile absence and myoclonic;
- specific provocative factors (bright light or loud sound).
Epilepsy — causes
One of the common causes of epilepsy are there. This disease is largely a hereditary disease transmitted even from distant relatives and down through generations. As a rule, in 70% of cases factor in the development of the disease remains unclear. Only 30 percent of the emergence of epilepsy can be attributed to the following reasons:
- brain tumor;
- malformation (violation of the structure of the brain);
- the lack of oxygen (hypoxia) at birth;
- parasitic diseases;
- drug and alcoholism;
- traumatic brain injury;
- a side effect of medications (antidepressants, antipsychotics);
- abscess of the brain.
Epilepsy in children
Neurological disease characterized by convulsions and loss of consciousness, occurs in children more often than adults. As a rule, the disease manifests itself at an early age, often accompanied by contraction of the muscles in which the activity of neurons drops sharply. Clinically this is manifested by muscle weakness. A child, coming to himself, doesn’t even remember sometimes what happened. Among the main causes of epilepsy in children experts call the following:
- genetic predisposition;
- affective disorders;
- the use of mother medicines during pregnancy;
- infectious diseases (encephalitis, meningitis);
- birth injuries;
- the abuse of a mother with narcotic substances and alcoholic beverages.
Epilepsy in adults
Many people often wonder the question, who are epileptic? By definition of the psychiatrists of the person who has epileptic seizures is called epilepsy. Among all the neurological diseases of adult epilepsy is on the third place in prevalence. Approximately 5% of the population of the globe at least once in life had suffered bouts of the disease. Although a single seizure is not considered a reason for determining diagnosis. As a rule, epilepsy in adults, is accompanied by periodic attacks that occur without the influence of external factors.
There are several types of epileptic seizures:
- a narcoleptic;
- focal motor seizures without March;
- focal with March (Jacksonian);
- vegetative-visceral manifestations;
Epilepsy — symptoms
Symptoms seizures neurological disease may be different for different patients. Usually, symptoms of epilepsy depend on the areas of the brain where you receive and spreading the pathological hearth. In this embodiment, the symptoms will be directly related to the functions of the affected departments. Typical epileptic symptoms:
- dysfunction of mental processes;
- vocalization or speech disorder;
- loss of taste;
- motor and auditory disorders;
- loss of consciousness;
- tonic (long-term) and clonic convulsions;
- violation of visual function, and olfactory sensations.
The main characteristic feature of the disease is the human propensity to sudden recurring seizures. The epileptic may experience seizures of various types, but any of them is abnormal activity of the neuron of the brain where occurs an electrical discharge. Major epileptic seizures may be partial and generalized.
At large (generalized) seizures in a patient developing severe cramps. Before the attack there are its harbingers: irritability, high anxiety. During a seizure, an epileptic may cry and make grunting sounds. The person loses consciousness, pale face, breathing slows down. During a simple partial seizure, the patient may be conscious.
Diagnosis of epilepsy
In order to recognize the disease, you must install the primary disease. To do this, to interview the relatives of the patient and himself. During the survey, it is important to know the details of the seizures and the details, concerning the well-being of the patient. Next, the doctor prescribes a neurological examination. In addition, for diagnosis of epilepsy, be sure to do:
- electroencephalography (EEG), which reflects any deviation in brain activity and detects epileptic focus;
- magnetic resonance and computed tomography of the brain, because EEG in the interictal interval is not different from normal.
Treatment of epilepsy
Modern medicine in the fight against the disease offers the use of a special anti-epileptics which help to cope with the disease in 60% of patients, and 20% –significantly reduce the symptoms of the disease. Although sometimes it is necessary to be treated all my life. Therapy should appoint a doctor. As a rule, it is built on the principles of duration, comprehensiveness, timeliness and continuity. Treatment of epilepsy involves:
- Regular use of tools that prevent seizures (Beclamide, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin). Duration of treatment — at least 3 years after the last attack and only after remission.
- Normalization of the EEG. Drug therapy should not be abruptly interrupted.
- Following a special diet at home. It is necessary to exclude salt, spices, coffee.
Emergency treatment of an epileptic fit
If you witnessed the outbreak of the attack the epileptic, it is urgent to call a doctor. While waiting you can clean emergency treatment of an epileptic fit. You must observe the following conditions:
- from the man have to push all the things;
- flip it on its side;
- to put under the patient’s head something soft;
- if there is vomiting, turn the head of an epileptic on the side;
- during a seizure it is not necessary to give the patient to drink.
Epilepsy — the consequences
Even if the doctor picked up the correct antiepileptic therapy, the person on the background of the disease may occur irritability, the child has difficulty in learning and hyperactive behavior. Moreover, the consequences of epilepsy can be as follows:
- the risk of injury;
- stop speech;
- the child may be reduced memory, attention;
- prolonged seizures may be fatal.