(nerves). Brain cells send signals as electrical impulses to the periphery for every action. Any spark or voltage fluctuations or interruptions or flickering (abnormal brain signals or activity) can cause short circuit (i.e., tic / twitch / spasm / seizure / convulsions / epilepsy complaints) in connections and communications – seizure disorders. It is just like an error code transmitted in brain cells (neurons). It can also go for fuse off the brain (death) when there is persistent spark or flickering (sustained twitching or seizure / status epilepticus) when care is not taken / given properly to control it.
suddenly. Seizure spells often paralyse the function (of brain) temporarily or of a sudden. Here one can feel altered sensations or functions or both. Seizure disorders can cause a variety of involuntary symptoms, i.e., varying from simple black out / momentary loss of consciousness, strange look, a sharp and short twitch, muscle spasms, imbalance in gait, involuntary movements / jerks / chorea / dyskinesia / convulsions, fainting, frothy saliva due to spasm in lungs and throat, incontinence of bowels and bladder, etc., to coma. Here brain reacts to the sharp and short signals (These abnormal signals – spikes and waves can be read in EEG – Electroencephalography).
- Aura – It is an altered (subjective / notion) feeling which alarms or warns the arrival of epilepsy. It can last for a minute to a day. It may be felt as altered sensation in hearing, vision, taste, smell, feeling, sensations, etc. Its presentation of feeling may vary from person to person. Aura signals commonly arise in the temporal lobe.
- Ictus – means the suffering period or attack of epilepsy. The suffering nature may also differ in different individuals with symptoms of loss of conscious, jerky movements (tonic / clonic contractions), sustained contractions / rigidity / spasms, catch / gasp in breath, drooling and frothing saliva, etc.
- Post Ictus – It is the ending phase of suffering. Sufferer may feel exhausted, tiredness, body pain, (due to violent jerky movements) confusion, sleepiness, lack of concentration, etc., for a day or two.
or head injury (forceps delivery) or after violent crying (due to panic or fear) or after very high temperature or after serious illnesses. It is also more pronounced in persons who suffer from hormonal imbalance. Old people commonly suffer from seizure or epilepsy when they have cerebral palsy, tuberculosis, parasite infection (hydatid cyst), emotional upset, sleeplessness, brain atrophy, poor nutrition and as a reflection of tumours and other serious diseases.
- Why do these sparks occur in an insulated (covered) brain?
- How does it occur?
- What is the reason?
- Why does it spread?
- Why doesn’t it spread in some focal seizures ?
- How does it resume normalcy after a period without any trace?
- Why can’t even MRI or EEG pin point the foci/cause in every case?
Attained during birth – Asphyxia developed as a complication of delivery, i.e., delay in conduction of delivery or due to cord around the neck or by ingestion of amniotic fluid, etc.
Physiological – Sleeplessness, overtime job, poor nutrition, poor growth, excess alcohol, sexual excesses, heat stroke , etc.
Psychological – Mental trauma /shock, fear, getting upset, anxiety, tension, depression, emotional conflicts, anger, loss, loneliness, etc.
Pathological – High fever, viral or bacterial infections (meningitis or encephalitis), ischaemia, high blood pressure, increased ventricular pressure, heart arrythmias, high sugar levels, metabolic disorders, vascular disorders/tumours, brain tumours, neurofibroma, parasite infections, etc.
Injury/trauma – Head injury from being hit while playing or due to surgical procedures to remove tumours or clots or druing forceps delivery, etc.
Drug induced – Seizures can also arise as a drug reaction during development (pregnancy period) or from drug dependency or from drug withdrawal which was held suddenly after having developed drug dependency (epilepsy or migraine), or from drugs poisoning with toxic doses, etc.
- Childhood – genetic predisposition, chromosomal abnormality, high fever, head injury , forceps delivery, asphyxia during delivery, bacterial or viral encephalitis, parasite infection, etc., come as common causes.
- Adult – Alcohol, brain tumours, stroke, sleeplessness, metabolic disorders, head injury, meningitis, encephalitis, high fever, parasite infection, sclerosis, ageing atrophy, degenerative disorders, hypertension, diabetes , renal failure, etc., are common causes.
the precursor of the attack. The most common among them are anxiety, fear, tension, fever, exhaustion, sleeplessness, alcohol, drugs, flashing lights (including flickering of TV/computer monitor), seeing fast moving objects, thunderstorms, violent headache, high bass and treble sounds, oily foods, indigestion, etc.
- Focal seizure – symptom will be restricted to a part / side. This type of seizure is most common (more than 60 per cent).
- Absence seizure – just a momentary loss of consciousness or staring
- Akinetic seizure – loss of posture (due to loss of muscle tone) to fall down without any jerks or spasms.
- Generalised seizure (Grandmal) – occurs due to involvement of a larger area of the brain. Here the symptom presentation can be noted in most of the parts or all over the body.
- Tonic movements – with high muscle tone – i.e., muscle become rigid
- Clonic movements – oscillatory movements
- Myoclonic movements – jerks/twitching of the parts/body
- Tonic clonic movements – mixture of tonic and clonic movements
shaking or jerky movements. That is, some persons will just faint, while some others will have twitching alone with or without consciousness and some others would have violent jerky movements with loss of consciousness. Simple seizures have no warning signs whereas chronic seizures (i.e., epilepsy) can have warning or alarm signs i.e. aura. In the case of those suffering from jerky movements, commonly the opposite side of the body suffers for the sparks on one side of the brain.
a few or all the below symptoms
- Blinking/twitching of eyelids and other parts
- Imbalance with dizziness and drowsiness/fainting
- Loss of consciousness/memory
- Deviation of mouth angle with movements
- Stiff face/painful facial expression
- Clenched teeth
- Tongue or cheek can get bitten between clenched teeth
- Drooling and frothy saliva due to severe gasping
- Catch in breath, gasping for air/choking felt due to obstruction in larynx due to accumulated sputum/phlegm and spasms of lung muscles
- Rigidity and spasms in the parts involved – commonly arms flexed and legs extended or stretched
- Rythmic jerky movements in parts with alternate tightness (spasm) and relaxation – eyes, mouth, neck, shoulder, arm, forearm, fingers, legs, etc. – which usually lasts from 30 secs to 3 minutes or more.
- In severe cases, violent attack follows without any relaxation status – epilepticus (dangerous) – where there will be sustained contraction in all parts (including lung muscles – which commonly causes death)
- Bladder and bowel can go out of control with leaking or emptying
- Sufferer often gets injured when he faints and falls down against the wall or floor. They also get injured while having violent jerks against nearby objects.
After seizure – mild symptoms will last for a day or two with dullness
- Coma or loss of consciousness continues (or deep sleep follows) for minutes to hours depending upon the intensity of the suffering and exhaution of the sufferer. All muscles become flaccid and weak after the attack
- Unaware of activities/happenings during seizure
- Anxiety, fear and tension
- Drowsiness/dizziness/confusion/lack of concentration due to brain fag
- Sleepiness, dullness, headache, giddiness may last for a day to two days
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach discomfort with or without irregular bowel movements
- Tiredness/exhaution/severe body pain due to violent jerky activities
- Tremor, numbness of the parts and sleeplessness may follow
- How seizure gets started
- How many minutes it lasted
- Whether the sufferer lost conscious from the beginning or not
- Which part or side of the body suffers or suffers more?
- Is there any trigger or not?
- How about the time, food, incidences, emotions, reactions, activity of the sufferer just before the suffering?
- How many minutes the sufferer takes to regain consciousness
- Whether the sufferer had suffered incontinence of urine or stool during seizure?
Diagnostic techniques – The common tests followed to frame seizure disorders are:
- Routine blood tests and urine tests (to rule out any infection, anaemia, low or high sugar levels, metabolic disorders, poisoning, hormonal imbalance, etc.)
- X-ray skull (in AP view and lateral view) / CT / MRI scan (to identify any bleeding spots / clots / brain tumours / cysts)
- Electroencephalography (EEG) – to find out abnormal brain functions. Here brain functions are graphed through the current measured through electrodes placed on the scalp. The waves and spikes produced can indicate the place of abnormal foci in brain or flickering or spark. In seizure case, it may show abnormality in waves / spikes till 24 hours of the suffering and in epilepsy, unusual waves can be even read when the sufferer is normal and not having any seizures. Most often, EEG readings happen to remain normal (in seizure and epilepsy cases) confusing diagnosis.
- Behaviourial (personality, mood swings, emotional changes, etc.) and neurological analysis (with muscle control, coordination, movements, reflexes)
Prevention – Since the cause remains unknown, no known preventive measures have been made out as of now. Anyway, for seizures – getting enough sleep, eating a proper nutritious diet and abstaining from alcohol and drugs, caring head against any injury reduces the chance of seizures or epilepsy. Also one needs to monitor stress sleep, diet, medications and stimulants for preventing as well as managing seizure.
- Open minded and share your feelings or fears
- Active and do physical exercises regularly
- Regular with medications
- Physical as well as mental exercises (reading, thinking, solving puzzles / problems)
- Wear helmet while involved in risk factors
- Proceed for treatment as early as possible in case of any complaints
- Racing against time
- Circumstances which favour anxiety and tension
- Overloading brain / mind anticipating trouble
- Addictives – alcohol / coffee, smoking and drugs
- Unnecessary medicines
- Don’t have any fear about the disease (mostly it is not life-threatening) – learn well about the disease
- Good sleep is first and foremost good medicine. Have good sleep at least seven hours a day
- Avoid triggers, especially tension, over exertion, dehydration, lowered sugar level, highly fluctuating lights and bass sounds, etc., to avoid attacks
- Treat fever at the early stage itself and if necessary take sponge bath to reduce or control temperature
- Get medicines from qualified doctors stating everything, i.e. complaints suffered before / during / after seizure
- Take medicines regularly and never miss doses
- Don’t drink, drive and swim alone
- Be aware of the drug’s adverse effects and cope up with that
- Avoid pregnancy unless otherwise medicine doses have been altered or reduced under the supervision of physician – since most commonly anti-epileptic drugs cause congenital anomalies or birth defects
- Pre-natal and post-natal care should be given in the right way under the supervision of physician and gynaecologists.
- Protect the sufferer from any injury by supporting and cushioning during fall or fainting or violent jerks of seizure
- Try to remove objects / furniture away from the sufferer during jerks or suffering period
- Do not try to stop or hold the sufferer as you cannot stop it or make it off all of a sudden – allow the seizure to run its natural course.
- Do not give anything (iron rod or keys or any thing) in the hand to seizure patients (even though their activity looks like they are trying to grab or hold something) – It will also injure supporter (or you) or sufferer himself. So, don’t provide anything.
- Do not give anything through the mouth – even water or medicines as they cannot swallow at that time.
- Also, avoid putting any objects in the mouth to avoid tongue biting – This type of activity can cause choking or can also break teeth
- Try to extend the head (stretching backwards) so that breathing will be easier for the sufferer
- Roll over the suffer to lie sidewards so that frothy saliva can drool out (avoiding choking / avoiding entering into lungs causing bronchitis or pneumonia) If possible, loosen their dress and keep the area aerated. Don’t crowd around the sufferer
- Hospitalise if sufferer suffers eh seizure violently and continuously or when the person has not regained consciousness in a short span of time. Hospitalisation can clear airways, provide oxygen, intravenous fluids and medicines to comfort the sufferer at the earliest.
- Give reassurance with hope for future
- Make them get investigated all the way and make them proceed to proper treatment
- Help them keep regular with medicines / food / habits
- Getting injured due to fainting / fall / seizure
- Mental agony about the disease, life-time medicines, cure, fate, etc.
- Feeling disabled to drive / high-skilled task (where attention is more precious or life is in danger) in spite of having all the parts in good condition or functions make one more worried and depressed
- Bronchitis or pneumonia due to ingestion of saliva
- Side-effects of regular life time anti-epileptic medicines, i.e.,
- Dullness and poor concentration
- Children cannot cope with study as before
- Miscarriages during pregnancy
- Can cause birth defects or congenital anomalies like cleft palate, autism, holes in heart
- Impotency and low sperm count
- Kidney and liver can suffer damage
- Lack of treatment / care can lead one to emergency situation i.e., violent continuous seizure (Status epilepticus) / death
Treatment of seizure/epilepsy disorders
adolescent people would have fears about leading a married life and the future.Actually, it is in no way related to marital life or sex. So it is not advisable to hide the suffering from anyone since they could get help from known / near ones in case of emergency. One should also develop hope and confidence that seizure and epilepsy will go off eventually by gaining a strong body and mind.
one should be aware that without treatment, the disease often progresses and causes cognitive dysfunctions/life threatening severe seizure episode or status epilepticus. So, it is important to begin treatment right away from the start-up of the complaint and to continue medication until attaining at the least two years of complaints-free period (in all systems of medicine). Also, it is always advised to use prescribed medicines regularly and not to miss doses even though one may fear the side-effects of anti epileptic drugs (especially in children, since they often become dull, cannot cope with studies and get depressed).
General treatment – One cannot deny the remarkable way of switching off the seizure or epilepsy by allopathic – anti-epileptic – drugs. Even though they do not cure the disorder ultimately, the way it controls seizures is a miracle and boon for the sufferer. Taking medicines immediately after the first attack usually prevents further episodes. Generally, in addition to anti-epileptic drugs, vitamin supplements and antioxidants are prescribed to support the brain and its functions. Pregnant women will be provided folic acid and vitamin K to avoid congenital abnormalities.
Drug side-effects – usually vary from person to person. Commonly, patients suffer a few or many of these following characteristics – dullness, confusion, irritability, lack of memory, drowsiness, dizziness, tremor, rashes, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness/ sleeplessness, fatigue , depression, blurred vision, double vision, nystagmus (rapid movement of eye ball), liver, stomach, kidney problems, hormonal imbalance, BP variations, weight loss/gain, miscarriage/congenital anomalies while taken during pregnancy, early diabetes , etc. In spite of all these, the memory and experience of past seizure compel every sufferer to depend on the drugs.
complaint for selecting the right remedy. For example, some will get seizure only during sleep, some others will suffer only during the day and never at night, some will suffer during the Full Moon or New Moon phases, some others will suffer after over excitement or after overeating or after they feel afraid of something. Likewise, one’s nature / course of suffering will differ. Homeopathy works out individualisation here and treats person as a whole to root out the disease.
crescendoof rebounding jerks or blackouts. So, Allopathic medicines / anti seizure medicines used for suppressing seizures should be tapered off in a slow manner after gaining / feeling betterment with homeopathic medicines . First they should increase the duration between medications along with administration of Homeopathy medicines, then they should reduce the anti-epileptic drugs’ dosage levels slowly. One need not worry about going in for two systems of medicine simultaneously since there won’t be any side-effects or interaction.