1570s, from Middle French epilepsie (16c.), from Late Latin epilepsia, from Greek epilepsia "seizure," from epi "upon" (see epi-) + lepsis "seizure," from leps-, future stem of lambanein "take hold of, grasp" (see analemma).
Besides, can you suddenly develop epilepsy?
Epilepsy is the most common serious brain (neurological) condition. You can have one seizure but not have epilepsy. However, if you develop epilepsy in later life, there is more likely to be a physical cause. For example, you can develop epilepsy after a stroke.
When was the first case of epilepsy?
Important discoveries in the fields of electroencephalography were made during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1929, Berger (1873–1941), a German neurologist, reported his findings on human brain waves , five years after his initial recording of the first human electroencephalogram.
If the abnormal electrical brain function is in the occipital lobe (the back part of the brain that is involved with vision), sight may be altered, but muscles are more commonly affected. The seizure activity is limited to an isolated muscle group, such as the fingers, or to larger muscles in the arms and legs.
Epilepsy is not contagious and is not caused by mental illness or mental retardation. Sometimes severe seizure can cause brain damage, but most seizures do not seem to have a detrimental effect on the brain. Epilepsy has many possible causes, from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development.
The Central Nervous System. Naturally, this is one of the body systems greatly affected by epilepsy. The brain is a part of this system and it controls your body's voluntary and involuntary movements. Seizures are caused when abnormal electrical signals in the brain interrupt the brain's normal functioning.
Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain. When someone has epilepsy, it means they have a tendency to have epileptic seizures. Anyone can have a one-off seizure, but this doesn't always mean they have epilepsy.
Medical Definition of Epilepsy. Epilepsy (seizure disorder): When nerve cells in the brain fire electrical impulses at a rate of up to four times higher than normal, this causes a sort of electrical storm in the brain, known as a seizure. A pattern of repeated seizures is referred to as epilepsy.
Some of the main causes of epilepsy include:
- Low oxygen during birth.
- Head injuries that occur during birth or from accidents during youth or adulthood.
- Brain tumors.
- Genetic conditions that result in brain injury, such as tuberous sclerosis.
- Infections such as meningitis or encephalitis.
Electroencephalogram (EEG). This is the most common test used to diagnose epilepsy. In this test, doctors attach electrodes to your scalp with a paste-like substance. Your doctor may give you instructions to do something that will cause seizures, such as getting little sleep prior to the test.
Today, most epilepsy is treated with medication. Drugs do not cure epilepsy, but they can often control seizures very well. About 80% of people with epilepsy today have their seizures controlled by medication at least some of the time. Of course, that means that 20% of people with epilepsy are not helped by medication.
New Blood Test May Detect Epileptic Seizures. An epilepsy blood test measures the amount of the hormone prolactin in the blood. It helps determine whether a seizure was caused by epilepsy or another disorder.
It is important to realise that an abnormality on a CT scan does not prove a diagnosis of epilepsy. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the head: This is a test which produces very detailed pictures of the brain using radio waves. An MRI scan may be carried out to look for changes in the brain which can cause epilepsy.
The different types of generalized seizures are:
- absence seizures (formerly known as petit mal)
- tonic-clonic or convulsive seizures (formerly known as grand mal)
- atonic seizures (also known as drop attacks)
- clonic seizures.
- tonic seizures.
- myoclonic seizures.
The difference between “epilepsy” and “seizures” Many believe that having a seizure equates to having epilepsy. Although the two terms are often used simultaneously, a seizure (which is a single occurrence) is different than epilepsy (which is defined as two or more unprovoked seizures).
Triggers are situations that can bring on a seizure in some people with epilepsy. Some people's seizures are brought on by certain situations. Triggers can differ from person to person, but common triggers include tiredness and lack of sleep, stress, alcohol, and not taking medication.
Foods which may cause energy peaks and slumps include: white bread; non-wholegrain cereals; biscuits and cakes; honey; high-sugar drinks and foods; fruit juices; chips; mashed potatoes; parsnips; dates and watermelon. In general, processed or overcooked foods and over-ripe fruits.
When we experience stress we also can become anxious. Although stress and anxiety do not cause epilepsy, for some people they may be a seizure trigger. By lowering your stress levels you may be able to reduce the number of seizures you experience.
Here are some tips that may help reduce your risk of having an epilepsy seizure:
- Get plenty of sleep each night — set a regular sleep schedule, and stick to it.
- Learn stress management and relaxation techniques.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Take all of your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
Anxiety Can Cause Seizures in Those With Epilepsy. If you have already been diagnosed as epileptic then yes, anxiety can cause seizures. Severe stress is a very common seizure trigger, and those with severe anxiety often experience severe stress. They may also have panic attacks as a response to pregnancy or stress.
This can be caused by any type of brain injury, such as trauma, stroke, brain infection, or a brain tumor. Provoked seizures – A similar type of abnormal electrical activity in the brain can be caused by certain drugs, alcohol withdrawal, and other imbalances, such as a low blood sugar.
- Keep other people out of the way.
- Clear hard or sharp objects away.
- Don't try to hold your friend down or stop her movements.
- Place her on her side, to help keep her airway clear.
- Look at your watch at the start of the seizure, so you can time its length.
- Don't put anything in your friend's mouth.
While many forms of epilepsy require lifelong treatment to control the seizures, for some people the seizures eventually go away. The odds of becoming seizure-free are not as good for adults or for children with severe epilepsy syndromes, but it is possible that seizures may decrease or even stop over time.