Paroxysmal disorders of consciousness in neurology is a pathological syndrome that occurs as a result of the course of a disease or the body’s reaction to an external stimulus. Disorders are manifested in the form of seizures (paroxysms), which have a different character. Paroxysmal disorders include migraine attacks, panic attacks, fainting, dizziness, epileptic seizures with and without convulsions.
The neurologists at the Yusupov Hospital have extensive experience in the treatment of paroxysmal conditions. Doctors are proficient in modern effective methods of treating neurological pathologies.
Disorder of consciousness
Paroxysmal disorder of consciousness manifests itself in the form of neurological seizures. It can occur against the background of visible health or during an exacerbation of a chronic disease. Often, a paroxysmal disorder is fixed during the course of a disease that was not initially associated with the nervous system.
The paroxysmal state is characterized by a short duration of the attack and a tendency to recurrence. Disorders have different symptoms, depending on the provoking condition. Paroxysmal disorder of consciousness can manifest itself as:
The causes of the development of paroxysmal conditions can be congenital pathologies, injuries (including those at birth), chronic diseases, infections, and poisoning. In patients with paroxysmal disorders, a hereditary predisposition to such conditions is often noted. Social conditions and harmful working conditions can also cause the development of pathology. Paroxysmal disorders of consciousness can cause:
bad habits (alcoholism, smoking, drug addiction);
stressful situations (especially with their frequent repetition);
violation of sleep and wakefulness;
heavy physical activity;
prolonged exposure to strong noise or bright light;
adverse environmental conditions;
abrupt change in climatic conditions.
In epilepsy, paroxysmal conditions can manifest themselves in the form of convulsive seizures, absences and trances ( non- convulsive paroxysms). Before the onset of a large convulsive seizure, many patients feel a certain kind of precursors – the so-called aura. There may be auditory, auditory, and visual hallucinations. Someone hears a characteristic ringing or smells a certain smell, feels a tingle or tickle. Convulsive paroxysms in epilepsy last several minutes, may be accompanied by loss of consciousness, temporary cessation of breathing, involuntary defecation and urination.
Non-convulsive paroxysms occur suddenly, without warning. With absences, a person abruptly stops moving, his gaze rushes in front of him, he does not respond to external stimuli. The attack does not last long, after which mental activity returns to normal. The attack for the patient goes unnoticed. Absences are characterized by a high frequency of seizures: they can be repeated dozens and even hundreds of times a day.
Panic disorder (episodic paroxysmal anxiety)
Panic disorder is a mental disorder in which the patient experiences spontaneous panic attacks. Panic disorder is also called episodic paroxysmal anxiety. Panic attacks can occur from several times a day to one or two per year, while the person is in constant expectation of them. Severe anxiety attacks are unpredictable because their occurrence does not depend on the situation or circumstances.
This condition can significantly impair a person’s quality of life. The feeling of panic can recur several times a day and persist for up to an hour. Paroxysmal anxiety can come on suddenly and cannot be controlled. As a result, a person will feel discomfort while in society.
The manifestations of paroxysmal sleep disorders are very diverse. They may include:
talking and screaming in a dream;
startle on falling asleep.
Paroxysmal sleep disorders do not allow the patient to regain strength, how to rest. After waking up, a person may feel headaches, fatigue and weakness. Sleep disorders are common in patients with epilepsy. People with this diagnosis often have realistic vivid nightmares in which they run somewhere or fall from a height. During nightmares, the heartbeat may become more frequent, perspiration may appear. Such dreams are usually remembered and can be repeated over time. In some cases, during sleep disorders, breathing is disturbed, a person can hold his breath for a long period of time, and erratic movements of the arms and legs may be observed.
For the treatment of paroxysmal conditions, a consultation with a neurologist is necessary. Before prescribing treatment, the neurologist must know exactly the type of seizures and their cause. To diagnose the condition, the doctor clarifies the patient’s history: when did the first episodes of seizures begin, under what circumstances, what is their nature, are there concomitant diseases. Next, you need to undergo instrumental studies, which may include EEG, EEG video monitoring, MRI of the brain, and others.
After performing a deep examination and clarifying the diagnosis, the neurologist selects the treatment strictly individually for each patient. Therapy for paroxysmal conditions consists of drugs in certain doses. Often, the dosage and the drugs themselves are selected gradually until the desired therapeutic effect is achieved.
Usually, the treatment of paroxysmal conditions takes a long period of time. The patient should be constantly monitored by a neurologist for timely adjustment of therapy if necessary. The doctor monitors the patient’s condition, evaluates the tolerance of drugs and the severity of adverse reactions (if any).