Epilepsy is one of the world's oldest medical conditions. Epilepsy is defined by W.H.O as a chronic disorder of the brain that affects people worldwide. The major cause of this medical condition is brain seizure. According to W.H.O, a person is epileptic when he or she undergoes two or more unprovoked brain seizures. It is estimated that over 10% of people in the world have one seizure during their lifetime. And approximately 50 million people currently live with epilepsy worldwide.

A period of epileptic seizure is caused by too much electrical discharge in a group of brain cells.

This brain disorder is dated back since 4000BC. People with epileptic conditions have been discriminated and stigmatized because of various believes.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of epilepsy generally depends on the particular portion of the brain, where the disturbance first begins and how far it spreads across the brain.
These symptoms includes:
  • Loss of awareness
  • Loss of sensation
  • Disturbance of movement
  • Disturbance of mood
Seizures in people may lead to both physical and psychological problems.

Physical Problems

  • Bruises
  • Fractures

Psycological Conditions

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
The risk of premature deaths in people with epilepsy occur mostly in developing and under-developed countries. This is mainly due to poor preventive measures and negligence. The societal believes have led to increased discrimination, fear and sigmatisation of people in epileptic conditions.

Cause of Epilepsy

The popular believe about epilepsy is that, it is contagious. This is not true as epilepsy has proven not to be contagious. 

Epilepsy have many types but the most common is called idiopathic epilepsy. This type of epilepsy has no recognised causes.

The second most common type of epilepsy is the symptomatic epilepsy. This type is mainly caused by:
  • Brain malfunction which is associated with genetic conditions
  • Genetic syndrome
  • Brain tumour
  • Loss of oxygen during birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Serious head injury
  • Brain infections (meningitis, encephalitis, neurocysticercosis)

Treatment for Epilepsy

Epilepsy is treatable. Although the causes may not be known (idiopathic epilepsy), epilepsy can easily be treated with medications. These meds are affordable and studies have shown a positive response in many cases ranging from developing to under-developed countries. 

These treatments were carried out with the help of ANTI-EPILEPTIC DRUGS (AED's). Seizure treatments have been completely controlled by the AED's. After 2-6 years of treatments, the drugs can be withdrawn totally from patients and results have shown that over 60% of patients are without recurrences.

Epilepsy can also be treated surgically, this is a rare treatment option. Surgical treatment might be of benefit to a few percentage of patients who respond poorly to drug or oral treatments.

Prevention

Some measures can be adopted to prevent the occurrence of symptomatic epilepsy. Although, these measures can't be applied to idiopathic epilepsy because its causes are unknown.

The preventive measures of symptomatic epilepsy includes:

  • Prevention of Head Injuries.
  • Lowering the body temperature of a feverish child can reduce the chances of seizure.
  • Epilepsy caused by birth injury can be reduced by adequate perinatal care.
  • Prevention of infections that affect the Central Nervous system can reduce the cause of epilepsy on both developing and under-developed countries in the tropical regions.
  • Elimination of parasite and good sensitization can be a very effective way of reducing epilepsy worldwide.

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