Epilepsy - is a common disease of the nervous system characterized by recurrent seizures that result in impaired motor, autonomic and cognitive functions. This disease is associated with excessive neuronal activity, thus causing neuronal discharges, which are distributed to all the neurons of the brain and lead to the appearance of an epileptic seizure. The prevalence of this disease is 0, 3-1% of the adult population and epilepsy often begins before 20 years. In epilepsy attacks are unexpected, they provoked no, seizures recur at irregular intervals of several days to several months. There is a widespread belief that epilepsy is incurable, but the use of modern anticonvulsants eliminates the attacks 65% of patients, and 20% - significantly reduce their number.
Causes of epilepsy
Causes of epilepsy is different for different ages. In young children, the main cause of epilepsy is hypoxia - oxygen starvation during pregnancy, as well as a variety of intrauterine infection (herpes, rubella) or congenital malformations of the brain. There is a genetic predisposition to epilepsy. If one parent is sick with epilepsy, the risk of having a sick child is about 8%. Epilepsy is divided into primary (idiopathic), with unknown causes and secondary (symptomatic), caused by various diseases of the brain.
Symptoms of Epilepsy
The main symptom of epilepsy is recurrent bouts. Epileptic seizures are focal and generalized.
When focal (partial) epileptic seizures observed spasms or numbness in certain parts of the body. Such seizures appear short-lived visual, gustatory or auditory hallucinations, inability to concentrate, unmotivated bouts of fear. During these attacks, lasting no more than 30 seconds, the mind can be maintained. After the attack, the patient continues to perform the interrupted action.
Generalized convulsive epilepsy, and there are non-convulsive (ABSA). Generalized seizures - the most frightening attacks. In just a few hours before the attack patients experience a kind of precursors - aggression, anxiety, sweating. Before an attack of epilepsy patient feels unreality, and then loses consciousness and begins to beat in convulsions. Such bouts of epilepsy, usually lasting from 2 to 5 minutes, start with a sharp tension in the muscles, the patient may bite his tongue and cheeks. Manifested cyanosis skin, stiffness of the pupils, from the mouth of the foam may appear, there are rhythmic jerking of the limbs. You may also experience urinary incontinence. After the seizure the patient usually does not remember anything, complaining of a headache and quickly falls asleep.
Absa - generalized non-convulsive epileptic seizures occur only in childhood and early adolescence, during which the child dies, the consciousness for a few seconds off, and looks at one point. During this attack, which usually lasts from 5 to 20 seconds, a child may also shake forever and easy to throw back his head. Because of the short duration of these attacks, they often go unnoticed.
Seizures and epilepsy are myoclonic, when the child has involuntary contractions of the body such as hands or head, while maintaining consciousness. Most of these attacks are observed upon awakening. Atonic seizures of epilepsy characterized by abrupt loss of muscle tone, resulting in a person falls. Epilepsy in children is manifested in the form of infantile spasms, when the child begins to bend, some parts of the body and the whole body several times a day. Children with such seizures usually lag behind in intellectual development.
It is also possible and the state of status epilepticus, in which seizures continuously follow one another, without regaining consciousness.
Symptoms include epilepsy and persistent mental changes, slowing of mental processes of the patient. Violations can occur in retardation, psychopathic behavior, as well as the manifestation of sadism, aggression and brutality. In patients formed the so-called "epileptic character," narrows the range of interests, all the attention is focused on their own health and the petty interests, cool attitude towards others, combined with obsequiousness or captiousness. These people most often vindictive and pedantic. With long-term course of the disease can develop epileptic dementia.
Diagnosis of epilepsy
Diagnosis of the disease begins with a thorough survey of the patient and his family. The doctor-patient asks epileptolog describe their feelings before, during and after the attacks that can determine what type of epileptic seizures. It also appears if there is a family history of epilepsy. Each seizure requires careful study and clinical research. Doctor prescribes a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to rule out other diseases of the nervous system, electroencephalography (EEG) to record brain electrical activity indicators, the study of the fundus and X-rays of the skull.
Treatment of epilepsy
Treatment of epilepsy need to start as early as possible and it should be comprehensive, long-term and continuous. Drugs selected according to the type of epilepsy. Treatment consists of individual selection of anticonvulsant medications and their dosages. When generalized seizures, are appointed by drugs such as phenobarbital, benzonal, hlorakon, phenytoin. For the treatment of absanov used clonazepam, sodium valproate, etosuksemid. Small seizures cropped suksilepom, trimetinom. It is necessary to monitor the condition of the patient, conduct regular blood and urine tests. Stopping drug treatment is only possible when for at least 2 years, epilepsy is not observed, with dosage medications reduce gradually. Also, an important criterion for discontinuation of medications is the normalization of the EEG.
In the treatment of epilepsy in children do not need much to change the way of life of the child. If seizures are not too frequent, they can continue to attend school, but from the sports sections should be abandoned. Adults with epilepsy need to organize properly matched career.
Drug treatment is combined with a diet, certain modes of work and rest. Patients with epilepsy recommended diet with a limited amount of coffee, hot spices, alcohol, salty and spicy dishes.
Prevention of epilepsy
Measures preventing epilepsy include measures to prevent the causes of epilepsy, such as: traumatic injuries, infections of the brain, birth trauma.