Mrs and Mr Katyal were very sad and depressed when their only son Aakash was diagnosed with Epilepsy. They distressed the situation of having a seizure in front of their family and friends. They were worried about his health and future and wondered if he could lead a normal life like any other child.
There are many parents who share the same concern. It is important to remember that anybody can get epilepsy at any age.
Michael Angelo, the most renowned Italian sculptor, Agatha Christie, a well known writer, Sir Issac Newton, a well known scientist besides being famous and successful they all have one thing in common – a condition called epilepsy.
Epilepsy is an ancient Greek word which means to seize or to hold. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which affects the kids and adults. People who have epilepsy have seizures. A seizure occurs when the normal electrical impulses in the brain become disrupted and leads to a variety of symptoms. Epilepsy has no cure but there are treatments that are available that help to prevent or reduce the incidence of seizures which can result in positive diagnosis.
Symptoms of Epilepsy:
Symptoms of epilepsy vary from one person to another. Some people may have simple staring spells, loss of alertness, loss of consciousness, convulsions, sensory impairments or confusion. Some individuals may have strange sensation such as tingling or smelling an odor that is not actually present before each seizure.
A seizure generally lasts for a few seconds to a few minutes. Almost all seizures cause a loss of consciousness or change in consciousness of the patient that affects the patient’s awareness of the surroundings. However it is important to understand that seizure do not indicate epilepsy, it can be caused due to a temporary medical condition such as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) high fever or immediately following a brain concussion.
Well Known Neurologist Dr Pravina Shah from Fortis Hospital says, “Seizure is synonymous with convulsion, fit, mirgi etc. It is symptom of many diseases whereas Epilepsy is disease of the brain and it is defined as Brain disorder with more than two seizures.”
Causes of Epilepsy:
Epilepsy may arise when there are disruptions to the normal connection between nerve cells in the brain. Dr Pravina Shah from Fortis Hospital says, “The main causes of epilepsy are
- Complications of pregnancy and child birth i.e Birth injuries- Blue babies at birth due to delayed cry,
- Traumatic- Head injuries,
- Vascular- Ischemia or Hemorrhage,
- Tumors ,degenerative- Atrophy
It is always believed that epilepsy is caused due to heredity factor but Dr Pravina Shah states “It is a myth in general. In a small percentage approximately 5% where epilepsy is of special type heredity may play a role. So each patient should be studied properly and do not have blanket labeling.”