Let’s talk about epilepsy: What are the most important things to know about this disease?
To date, the disease epilepsy is quite common throughout the world. About 2% of the world’s population suffers from its various forms, regardless of gender, age or nationality.
When a person hears the word “epilepsy”, he immediately imagines a convulsing patient with rapid breathing and foaming from the mouth. However, epilepsy can manifest itself in different ways. The article lists everything forms and types of epilepsy, both in children and adults, require observation and treatment. Remember: epilepsy is treatable!
In our article we will tell you about the forms and types of epilepsy in adults and children, about the conditions mistakenly called epilepsy.
We will also talk about the causes of epilepsy, whether you can be cured of this disease and how to make your life normal, having this diagnosis.
Epilepsy in adults
In its essence, epilepsy in adults and in children is a rather dangerous disease characterized by chaotic electrical activity of the brain or its individual parts. Epilepsy can have both congenital and acquired character.
Medics distinguish such types of epilepsy:
Generalized epilepsy, which develops when excessive electrical impulses occur in the human brain that cannot be neutralized due to genetic defects in antiepileptic structures, as a result of which the entire brain is constantly in a state of increased electrical excitability.
Partial or focal epilepsy, developing when epileptic nerve cells are formed not over the entire surface of the brain, but in some one hemisphere of the brain, in a specific focus.
Consider the main factors that contribute to the development of epilepsy:
- hereditary predisposition;
- genetic mutations, as a result of which brain structures do not develop sufficiently;
- brain tumors;
- brain injuries
- alcoholism and drug addiction;
- CNS infections;
- taking antidepressants, antibiotics and other powerful medications.
Types of epilepsy differ in the degree of brain damage.
In medicine, the following forms of epilepsy are distinguished:
Symptomatic epilepsy occurs after 20 years of age as a result of diseases and injuries.
It has the following subtypes:
- chronic progressive epilepsy;
- frontal lobe epilepsy with foci of pathology in the frontal lobes of the brain (most often attacks of this subtype of epilepsy occur in sleep (sleepwalking));
- parietal epilepsy;
- temporal lobe epilepsy the most common subtype of epilepsy, usually resulting from birth trauma;
- occipital epilepsy;
- idiopathic epilepsy this form of epilepsy is congenital-anomalous in nature, meaning it develops as a result of hereditary predisposition or congenital brain disease.
Idiopathic epilepsy also has its subtypes:
- Rolandic epilepsy most common in children;
- Gasto syndrome.
If the cause of the epileptic signs cannot be determined precisely, then the diagnosis of cryptogenic epilepsy is made. Unfortunately, this happens quite often, and it is extremely difficult to cure people with this diagnosis, since no one knows what to fight with.
Pediatric epilepsy has its own peculiarities. To date, as a result of poor ecology, genetic mutations and other unfavorable factors, epilepsy in children is 6 times more common than in adults. And it is mainly congenital in nature, ie, the responsibility for this disease is borne by the parents of the child.
Fortunately, what we all used to call epilepsy, in childhood may be a manifestation of such a disease as “epilepsy syndrome” (by signs of the disease is similar to epilepsy, but the cause of epilepsy is not epilepsy).
As we have already said, the most common form of epilepsy in childhood is idiopathic, i.e. congenital. And the main type of the disease in children rolandic epilepsy, manifested at the age of 3-13 years.
The epileptic focus is located in the rolandic sulcus of the cerebral cortex. The great fortune is that rolandic epilepsy is treatable and goes away without a trace in 98% of children by the age of 16.
There are 3 types of epileptic conditions that are unique to childhood. These are:
Absence epilepsy, when during a seizure the child as if “hangs”, freezes and stops reacting to the surrounding world. Girls of 6-7 years of age are most susceptible to this condition. As the child grows up, absences occur less frequently and gradually disappear or vice versa transformed into another form;
Atonic seizures they do not resemble epilepsy, but are a form of it. In such a seizure, the child abruptly loses consciousness, and all the muscles of the body completely relax. This leads to falls, bumps and injuries;
infantile spasm is also a form of epilepsy and is characterized by the fact that the child involuntarily and suddenly folds his hands on his chest, tilts his head or entire body forward and unnaturally straightens his legs strongly. This form of epilepsy is most common among children of 2-3 years of age, and by the age of 5 years either passes without a trace, or transforms into another form of the disease.
It is in your power to make your life and the life of your child as normal and full as possible. This is often not so difficult.
It is only necessary to take the medications prescribed by your doctor on a regular basis and avoid activities that negatively affect the impulse processes of the brain (working with computers, driving, swimming in open water or swimming pools, drinking alcohol or taking drugs, working at night and not getting enough sleep).
If you pay close attention to your health, your life will be bright and interesting even with such an illness as epilepsy.