What Causes Epilepsy And How To Cure Them
Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes seizures. These seizures are not caused by a temporary underlying medical condition such as a high fever, etc., People with epilepsy usually experience recurrent seizures, which occur due to a disruption of electrical activity, and temporarily disturbs the messaging systems between brain cells.
Symptoms Of Epilepsy
Seizures are the main symptom of epilepsy. Symptoms differ from person to person and according to the type of seizure.
Focal (partial) seizures. A simple partial seizure doesn’t involve loss of consciousness. Symptoms like alterations to sense of taste, smell, sight, hearing, or touch, dizziness, tingling and twitching of limbs are focal seizures.
Complex partial seizures involve loss of awareness or consciousness. Staring blankly, unresponsiveness, performing repetitive movements are some symptoms of complex seizures.
Generalized seizures involve the whole brain. There are six types:
- Absence seizures, which used to be called “petit mal seizures,” cause a blank stare. This type of seizure may also cause repetitive movements like lip smacking or blinking. There’s also usually a short loss of awareness.
- Tonic seizures cause muscle stiffness.
- Atonic seizures lead to loss of muscle control and can make you fall down suddenly.
- Clonic seizures are characterized by repeated, jerky muscle movements of the face, neck, and arms.
- Myoclonic seizures cause spontaneous, quick twitching of the arms and legs.
- Tonic-clonic seizures used to be called “grand mal seizures.” People experiencing tonic-clonic will encounter stiffening of the body, shaking, loss of bladder or bowel control, biting of the tongue, loss of consciousness.
Messaging systems in the brain control every function in the human body, and thus, any various disorders marked by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain and typically manifested sudden, brief episodes of altered or diminished consciousness, involuntary movements, or convulsions may result to brain dysfunction and develops Epilepsy.
There are several causes and many different kinds of seizures, that’s why Epilepsy can affect people in very different ways. In many cases, healthcare professionals will not know the exact cause. Some people inherit genetic factors, while other factors that may increase the risk include:
Head trauma, such as from a vehicle accident
Prenatal injury or brain damage that occurs before birth
Brain conditions, including stroke and tumors
Developmental conditions, including autism and neurofibromatosis
Infectious diseases, such as viral encephalitis
Central nervous system infection.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), epilepsy is most likely to develop in children under 2 years and adults over 65 years. In 2015, the CDC stated that epilepsy affected around 1.2% of the United States population. That amounts to approximately 3.4 million Americans, including 3 million adults and 470,000 children.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that epilepsy affects approximately 50 million people worldwide. Some people may have multiple types of seizures or other medical conditions in addition to epilepsy. These factors play a major role in determining both the severity of the person’s condition and the impact it has on his or her life. Fortunately, a person with epilepsy is not contagious and cannot give epilepsy to another person, although some seizures can look like staring spells and disturbing. Other seizures can cause a person to collapse, shake, and become unaware of what’s going on around them.
Although most people can manage epilepsy, treatment plan should always be based on the severity of symptoms, health, and how well you respond to therapy. Your treatment options include:
Anti-epileptic (anticonvulsant, antiseizure) drugs: Some people may eliminate seizures through using the medication exactly as prescribed. If not eliminated, it’ll reduce the number of seizures you have.
Ketogenic diet: If you’re someone who doesn’t respond to medication, try this diet benefit for high fat and low carbohydrate.
Vagus nerve stimulator: This device is surgically placed under the skin on the chest and electrically stimulates the nerve that runs through your neck to help prevent seizures.
Brain surgery: The area of the brain that causes seizure activity can be removed or altered.
Medical Marijuana And Epilepsy
In recent years, a number of studies have shown the benefit of specific plant-based CBD product (Marijuana) in treating specific groups of people with epilepsy who have not responded to traditional therapies. The FDA recently approved the use of Epidiolex (a plant-based formulation of CBD) to treat seizures in people 2 years of age and older with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
Medical marijuana (also called medical cannabis) is whole plant marijuana or chemicals in the plant used for medicinal purposes. There are walk-in and online dispensaries like Sonoma Medical Marijuana who offers curing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) which could potentially help control your epileptic seizures.