A Detailed Guide to Understanding Seizures: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatments
A seizure occurs when the brain’s normal electrical activity is abruptly disturbed by a rapid burst of aberrant electrical impulses in some parts (or parts) of the brain. Seizures can cause alterations in your emotions, actions, and states of awareness. Epilepsy is a condition that results from two or more spontaneous seizures that happen at least 24 hours apart.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), epilepsy is one of the most prevalent neurological conditions worldwide, affecting over 50 million people. Nearly 80% of people with epilepsy reside in low- and middle-income nations.
Therefore, it is critical to comprehend seizures to increase awareness about this medical condition. The article details various aspects of seizures providing you with comprehensive knowledge of the condition.
Types of Seizures
Seizures can be classified into two categories: focal and generalised seizures. Given below is an elaboration of these seizure categories.
Focal or Partial Seizures
Focal seizures may occur when one or more areas of one side of the brain encounter aberrant electrical brain activity. The two prevalent types of focal seizures include:
1. Simple Focal Seizures: This type of seizure has no loss of consciousness. The seizure activity affects only one muscle group—the larger muscles in the arms and legs or the fingers.
2. Complex Focal Seizures: This kind of seizure frequently occurs in the brain’s temporal lobe, which governs emotion and memory. Often, this seizure lasts for one to two minutes.
During these convulsions, a person may lose consciousness without passing out. This happens when they stop being aware of their surroundings.
Generalised seizures simultaneously affect different parts of the brain. Following are the types of it:
1. Absence Seizure: Children frequently experience absence seizures, referred to as petit mal seizures. It causes the child to stare into space or minute movements of the body as blinking the eyes or smacking the lips. They can occur hundreds of times daily and persist for five to ten seconds.
2. Tonic Seizures: Tonic convulsions cause the muscles to become stiff. These convulsions commonly affect arms, legs, and back, and they might cause one to lose consciousness and fall to the ground.
3. Atonic Seizures: These seizures lead to a lack of muscle control, resulting in an abrupt loss of consciousness or a head drop.
4. Clonic Seizures: Repeated or rhythmic jerking muscular movements are a symptom of clonic seizures. Typically, these seizures affect both sides of the body’s arms, face, and neck.
Causes of Seizures
The common causes of seizures include:
1. Brain tumours
2. Cerebral hypoxia (depriving the brain of oxygen)
3. Critical brain damage and a severe concussion
4. Degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia
5. Use as well as withdrawal of drugs and alcohol
6. High blood pressure can cause seizures in pregnant women
7. Fever, particularly high fevers.
8. A receptivity to flickering or flashing light.
9. Hormonal changes
10. Genetic disorders
12. Exposure to toxins and poisons
Symptoms of Seizures
For achieving efficiency in the absence of seizure treatment and other seizure cures, a knowledge of convulsions signs and symptoms is essential. The common seizure warning symptoms include:
1. An abrupt sensation of fear or anxiety
2. Feeling sick
3. Feeling of confusion and uncertainty
4. Loss of consciousness or awareness
5. Fatigue and tiredness
6. Change in vision
7. A jerky arm and leg movement that can cause you to drop objects
9. Cognitive or emotional reactions, such as fear, anxiety, or déjà vu
Diagnosis and Treatments of Seizures
The common diagnosis approaches used to detect the cause of seizure include:
1. Neurological Examination: A doctor may evaluate the patient’s behaviour, physical abilities, and mental function to determine whether anything is wrong with the nervous system or brain.
2. Blood Tests: The doctor might take a blood sample to assess blood sugar levels and look for infections, genetic conditions, or electrolyte abnormalities.
3. Electroencephalogram (EEG): Doctors use a paste-like substance to affix electrodes to the patient’s scalp. The electrodes capture the brain’s electrical activity and appear on an EEG recording as wavy lines. Doctors can pinpoint the precise cause of seizures by analyzing this data.
4. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): For thorough imaging of the patient’s brain, an MRI scan employs strong magnets and radio waves. The test identifies lesions or other anomalies in the brain that could cause seizures.
5. Computerized Tomography (CT-Scan): Using X-rays or a CT scan detects anomalies, including tumours, bleeding, and cysts in the brain that could lead to seizures.
The common methods for absence seizures treatment include:
2. Change in Diet
4. Electrical Simulations.
Seizures are abnormal brain activities that cause a temporary lack of consciousness and associated physical and mental stimuli. It is essential to gain knowledge about the same to ensure the safety and well-being of the community. The article analyses seizure types, causes, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments to educate people and benefit the community.