Nursing Care Through the Lifespan III
June 28, 2005
Epilepsy is the name for a condition of recurrent seizures where no
underlying cause can be determined. Seizures occur as a result of abrupt, explosive, unorganized discharges of cerebral neurons. This causes a sudden alteration in brain function involving sensory, motor, autonomic and/or psychic clinical manifestations.
Epilepsy can be a result of other conditions including:
§ Genetic predisposition
§ Brain tumor
§ Injury, trauma
§ Alcohol or drug use
§ Congenital malformation
as well as many others.
Many different things such as fatigue, stress, environmental factors such as strobe lights, TV, loud noises, and even some music may trigger seizures. (Heuthers,363)
There are many different types of seizures. These fall into three broad categories: Generalized, partial, and unclassified seizures. Generalized seizures involve both hemispheres of the brain. There are six different types of generalized seizures.
Tonic-Clonic: begin with tonic phase which includes stiffening of the muscles usually in the arms and legs and loss of consciousness. The clonic phase includes a rhythmic jerking movement of the extremities. Incontinence of urine and feces may occur. A period of confusion, and fatigue may last up to an hour following this type of seizure.
Absence: these seizures tend to run in families and are more common in children. They are characterized by moments (seconds to minutes) of loss of consciousness and staring that looks much like the child is daydreaming. When these seizures are the only ones the child presents with they are at a risk of being thought to have Attention Deficit Disorder and not receive the treatment they really need.
Myoclonic: these are characterized by brief contracting of muscle groups in the extremities. These episodes are seen more often in school-aged children and... [continues]
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