Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system, specifically the brain. Seizures occur when the electrical system of the brain malfunctions. Instead of discharging electrical energy in a controlled manner, brain cells keep firing. As a result there may be a surge of energy through the brain, causing contractions of muscles and unconsciousness. A solitary seizure does not mean you have epilepsy. At least two unprovoked seizures are generally required for an epilepsy diagnosis. This disorder affects 3 million people in the United States and 50 million worldwide.
There are many different types of seizures and can occur at any age in life. Neurologist at the Mayo Clinic usually classify seizures into 2 categories, Focal seizures or Generalized seizures. The difference in the types is in how they begin. Focal seizures appear to result in abnormal activity in just 1 part of the brain. These seizures fall into 2 categories, simple focal or complex focal seizures. There are 6 different types of Generalized seizures, which seem to affect all of the brain. These include absence, tonic, clonic, myoclonic, atonic, and tonic-clonic(grand mal) the last being the most intense.
Symptoms of seizures could be as simple as a subtle body movement or a staring spell, which could go unnoticed . Other symptoms occur suddenly and may include a change in alertness; person may not remember period of time. Mood changes, such as unexplainable fear, panic, joy or laughter. Shaking of entire body, muscle tension or tightening that causes twisting of body, head, arms or legs. A person could also experience a spontaneous sensory symptoms, vertigo and flashing lights.
Some people have a distinctive feeling or some other warning sign when a seizure is coming. These warnings are often referred to as auras. Although some auras are unpleasant, they can be helpful because they can give you time to prepare and keep yourself from being... [continues]
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