Epilepsy: Why Does It Happen And How To Treat A Disease?
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease that has been known to mankind since ancient times. Her main symptom is epileptic seizures, which are repeated from time to time. Why does this disease occur, what are its symptoms and is there a chance to overcome it?
What is epilepsy?
About epilepsy mankind knows for a long time. According to legend, Julius Caesar suffered from this illness. In ancient Greece and Rome, it was associated with enchantments and called sacred disease. It was believed that the gods sent this disease to people who lead an unjust life. Medieval illnesses were afraid, but they also bowed to her. For many prophets and saints had this illness. Today, epilepsy is a fairly common disease, with about 40 million people around the world suffering from it.
An epileptic attack is the result of synchronous excitation of all neurons in a separate area of the cerebral cortex, the so-called epileptogenic cell. Causes of such a cell can be:
head injury, for example, concussion;
alcoholism (every tenth alcoholic will eventually begin to suffer from epilepsy);
In the overwhelming majority of patients, the first attack occurs before the onset of adulthood (18 years). Light epileptic seizures may look like a short-lived loss of connection with the outside world. This can be manifested in the bumping of eyelids, faces. Then it can suddenly stop or grow into a real, powerful attack.
During an attack, a person does not recognize and feels pain, it can take several minutes in a row.
Before an attack, as a rule, a person experiences a condition called an aura. The patient has a slight dizziness of the head, minor auditory or visual hallucinations. After that, there may be loss of consciousness and the appearance of a court. Seizures often take on all facial muscles, there is the risk of tongue tongue, inhalation of saliva with blood. After the attack in a few minutes, the patient does not remember anything.
Especially dangerous is the epileptic status – it’s a series of large attacks with convulsions, which follow one after another without interruption. This is a deadly state through which a person may die from a banal lack of air.
If the patient starts an attack, you should turn his head to the side, not to give the tongue a stock, and saliva – to get into the airways. This position also helps to prevent respiratory tract and vomiting if they occur. After that, you should call an ambulance, especially if the attack lasts for a long time.
Treatment of epilepsy
After the first epilepsy episode in life, it is urgent to contact the neurologist, he can give directions to the epileptologist, if such a narrow specialist is in the given settlement. To accurately determine the diagnosis, the patient undergoes the procedure of electroencephalography. To determine the location of the epileptic cell, CT and MRI methods are used.
To date, epilepsy has been learned to treat quite effectively. If you always take certain medications, in 70% of cases you can completely forget about the attacks. For this patient prescribe anticonvulsants that reduce the frequency or completely prevent the onset of a trial, as well as drugs that suppress the transmission of nerve stimulation. Surgical treatment can also be effective, when the cause and epileptic excitation center in the cerebral cortex is clearly identified and this place is operable.
So, although epilepsy is considered a chronic disease, it is quite realistic to control it. For this, it’s time to turn to the doctor and follow his recommendations.