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*_What is epilepsy_*
Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.
Anyone can develop epilepsy. Epilepsy affects both males and females of all races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
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Symptoms of epilepsy
Because epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in the brain, seizures can affect any process your brain coordinates. Seizure signs and symptoms may include:
A staring spell
Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
Loss of consciousness or awareness
Psychic symptoms such as fear, anxiety or deja vu
Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. In most cases, a person with epilepsy will tend to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms will be similar from episode to episode.
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*_Causes of epilepsy I_*
Epilepsy has no identifiable cause in about half the people with the condition. In the other half, the condition may be traced to various factors, including:
Genetic influence. Some types of epilepsy, which are categorized by the type of seizure you experience or the part of the brain that is affected, run in families. In these cases, it’s likely that there’s a genetic influence.
Researchers have linked some types of epilepsy to specific genes, but for most people, genes are only part of the cause of epilepsy. Certain genes may make a person more sensitive to environmental conditions that trigger seizures.
Head trauma. Head trauma as a result of a car accident or other traumatic injury can cause epilepsy.
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Causes of epilepsy II
-Brain conditions. Brain conditions that cause damage to the brain, such as brain tumors or strokes, can cause epilepsy. Stroke is a leading cause of epilepsy in adults older than age 35.
-Infectious diseases. Infectious diseases, such as meningitis, AIDS and viral encephalitis, can cause epilepsy.
– Prenatal injury. Before birth, babies are sensitive to brain damage that could be caused by several factors, such as an infection in the mother, poor nutrition or oxygen deficiencies. This brain damage can result in epilepsy or cerebral palsy.
– Developmental disorders. Epilepsy can sometimes be associated with developmental disorders, such as autism and neurofibromatosis.
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Risk factors to epilepsy I
– Age. The onset of epilepsy is most common in children and older adults, but the condition can occur at any age.
– Family history. If you have a family history of epilepsy, you may be at an increased risk of developing a seizure disorder.
-Head injuries. Head injuries are responsible for some cases of epilepsy. You can reduce your risk by wearing a seat belt while riding in a car and by wearing a helmet while bicycling, skiing, riding a motorcycle or engaging in other activities with a high risk of head injury.
– Stroke and other vascular diseases. Stroke and other blood vessel (vascular) diseases can lead to brain damage that may trigger epilepsy. You can take a number of steps to reduce your risk of these diseases, including limiting your intake of alcohol and avoiding cigarettes, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
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Risk factors to epilepsy II
– Dementia. Dementia can increase the risk of epilepsy in older adults.
-Brain infections. Infections such as meningitis, which causes inflammation in your brain or spinal cord, can increase your risk.
-Seizures in childhood. High fevers in childhood can sometimes be associated with seizures. Children who have seizures due to high fevers generally won’t develop epilepsy. The risk of epilepsy increases if a child has a long seizure, another nervous system condition or a family history of epilepsy.
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Treatment for epilepsy
Most people with epilepsy can become seizure-free by taking one anti-seizure medication, which is also called anti-epileptic medication. Others may be able to decrease the frequency and intensity of their seizures by taking a combination of medications.
When medications fail to provide adequate control over seizures, surgery may be an option. With epilepsy surgery, a surgeon removes the area of your brain that’s causing seizures.
Apart from medications and surgery, these potential therapies offer an alternative for treating epilepsy:
Vagus nerve stimulation. In vagus nerve stimulation, doctors implant a device called a vagus nerve stimulator underneath the skin of your chest, similar to a heart pacemaker.
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Facts about epilepsy
-Epilepsy is a chronic noncommunicable disease of the brain that affects people of all ages.
-Around 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally.
-Nearly 80% of people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries.
-It is estimated that up to 70% of people living with epilepsy could live seizure- free if properly diagnosed and treated.
-The risk of premature death in people with epilepsy is up to three times higher than for the general population.
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Facts about epilepsy II
-Three quarters of people with epilepsy living in low-income countries do not get the treatment they need.
-In many parts of the world, people with epilepsy and their families suffer from stigma and discrimination.
-Epilepsy is NOT contagious. You simply can’t catch epilepsy from another person
-You can’t swallow your tongue during a seizure. It’s physically impossible.
-You should NEVER force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure.
– Absolutely not! Forcing something into the mouth of someone having a seizure is a good way to chip teeth, cut gums, or even break someone’s jaw.
-DON’T restrain someone having a seizure. Most seizures end in seconds or a few minutes and will end on their own.
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