Brain and Spine Care Health Care

Epilepsy: The Sub-Types and Its Causes

Epilepsy neurological disorder

Epilepsy is a moderate to a severe neurological disorder characterized by uncontrolled and usually violent shaking- known as seizures. Epileptic seizures are episodes that can vary from brief and nearly undetectable periods to long periods of vigorous shaking. These episodes can result in physical injuries, including occasionally broken bones.

In epilepsy, seizures tend to recur and, as a rule, have no immediate underlying cause. People with epilepsy suffer from recurrent seizure because of a sudden increase or spike in the brain’s electrical activity spurred by a rapid surge in electric impulse inside the brain.

The primary symptom of epilepsy is repeated seizures that would keep re-occurring, if not controlled by medications. The Department of Neurology is committed to integrating their exceptional medical expertise, technology and innovation to offer best in class treatments in neurologic diseases like epilepsy.

The department provides treatment for people with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, stroke, epilepsy, diagnosis and treatment of paralytic disorders, sleep disorders, multidisciplinary assessment and management of multiple sclerosis, and headaches.

Some of the most common Epilepsy Symptoms:

  • Short spells of blackout and confused memory
  • The person becomes stiff and rigid all of a sudden, for no apparent reason
  • Intermittent fainting spells, during which bowel or bladder control is lost, this is most often followed by extreme tiredness
  • Sudden bouts of blinking without apparent stimuli
  • A convulsion with no fever or temperature
  • For a short period, the person is totally unresponsive to instructions or any other external stimuli

Seizures and epilepsy could be of two types: Focal or Partial Epilepsy and Generalized Epilepsy. When the seizure involves an electrical abnormality in any one given part of the brain, it is known as focal or partial epilepsy. Sometimes, the seizures could as well be asymptomatic, and these are known as sub-clinical seizures.  When seizures involve the entire brain or the abnormal impulses spread through a major portion of the brain at a rapid pace, it is referred to as a generalized seizure.

 6 subtypes that are categorized under generalized seizures are:

Absence seizures:

In an absence seizure, epileptic activity occurs throughout the entire brain. It is a milder type of activity that causes unconsciousness without convulsions. After the seizure, the person has no memory of it.

Tonic-Clonic seizures:

During a generalized tonic-clonic (formerly grand mal) seizure, electric discharges instantaneously involve the entire brain. The person loses consciousness right from the beginning of the seizure. This is accompanied by an ictal cry, muscle twitching, foaming at the mouth, breathing difficulties and extreme jerking. By far this is the most dangerous of all epilepsy subtypes.

Atonic seizures:

In this case, (usually occurring in children) without warning, a child abruptly loses consciousness, collapses and falls to the floor. There is no convulsion, but children may hit their heads as they fall. After a few seconds, the child regains consciousness and can stand and walk again.

Myoclonic seizures:

Myoclonic seizures occur in several different types of childhood epilepsy. They involve abrupt muscle jerks in parts or all of the body.

The department of neurology at Fortis Hospital  is staffed by a leading panel of surgeons, doctors and nursing staff who offer cutting-edge diagnosis and treatment for epilepsy using the latest neuroimaging techniques. Even though most cases of epilepsy are categorized as idiopathic or unknown, some common factors that may increase the risk include trauma, stroke or infectious diseases.

Some of the common Causes of Epilepsy

  • Head trauma, for instance, during a car accident
  • Brain conditions like stroke or tumours
  • Infectious diseases, e.g. AIDS and viral encephalitis
  • Prenatal injury, or brain damage that occurs before birth
  • Developmental disorders, such as- autism or neurofibromatosis.

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