EPILEPSY – WHAT TO KNOW, WHAT TO DO

Several electrical signals and impulses are transmitted in the brain for it to function properly. (These impulses travel between nerve cells). Epilepsy is a disorder that disrupts the transmission of these electric signals in the brain.
It can develop at any age but it is more common in children and adults above age 65 years.

CAUSES

An Epileptic Seizure occurs when uncontrollable and sudden bursts of electrical signals are produced and the normal communication between the nerve cells becomes confused and this leads to uncontrolled thoughts and movement for a short period of time.
A generalised seizure can also cause the person to fall over, be unconscious or make the muscles jerk.

These factors may cause Epilepsy

  1. Head injuries
  2. Tumours
  3. Lack of oxygen to the brain after a stroke
  4. Family history of seizures
  5. Excessive alcohol an use of certain drugs
  6. Infections E.g meningitis
  7. Abnormalities in developing brain
  8. Degenerative conditions E.g Alzheimer’s Disease

HOW TO DIAGNOSE

Blood test, CT scan, MRI scan or the use of Electrocephalogram are very useful to confirm the diagnosis of seizures of Epilepsy.

TREATMENT

Drugs do not cure epilepsy but most seizures can be prevented by taking medications regularly as prescribed.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU SEE SOMEONE HAVING SEIZURES

  1. Keep Calm
  2. Check the person’s breathing and circulation
  3. Protect him/her from injury
  4. Once the seizure is over, roll the person on their side and loosen any tight clothing
  5. Do not put anything in their mouth and do not try to restrain the person
  6. If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, or if another seizure starts, or if the person stops breathing during seizure, please call a doctor or rush to the hospital.

© Pharm. Israel Oni

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