What Is Epilepsy: What to Know

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Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the central nervous system. It’s a disorder that disrupts regular brain activity, triggering seizures that can last seconds or minutes. Different people experience varying severity in their symptoms. For some, living with epilepsy is a minor inconvenience, and for others, the condition is highly disruptive.

Epilepsy affects people of all ages, ethnicities, genders, and fitness levels. Some people have seizures that only affect them momentarily; it looks like they’re staring off into space, but they’re having an epileptic episode. In more severe cases, seizures make people lose consciousness and total control over their bodies. They fall to the floor and seize until the episode passes.

To the unfamiliar, epilepsy can be pretty scary. However, people living with epilepsy and their friends and families learn to manage the condition and continue with life. If you’re new to epilepsy, here are some of the basics you need to know to help yourself or someone in your life with the condition.

Common Symptoms of Epilepsy

What does living with epilepsy look like? If you have a seizure, does that mean you have epilepsy?

Just because someone has a seizure, it doesn’t mean they are epileptic. Sudden injuries like traumatic brain injury can trigger an episode. In addition, some people experience seizures as a result of trauma or extreme stress.

However, epilepsy is defined as a chronic abnormality in normal brain patterns. Often, this results in seizures. Here are some of the most common symptoms of epilepsy:

Confusion

Stiffness in the muscles

Staring into space

Uncontrollable movements

Fear

Anxiety

Regular feelings of deja vu

Again, the severity of symptoms can vary depending on what type of seizure someone is having. Typically, people with epilepsy have recurring bouts that are similar. For example, someone with minor attacks will usually only have minor seizures in an epileptic episode.

Focal Seizures Vs. Generalized Seizures

People with epilepsy mainly experience two types of seizures: focal and generalized. Here’s the difference.

Focal Seizures

Focal seizures happen, but people who have focal seizures don’t lose consciousness. Typically, the seizure changes how they feel, look, or the way things taste. Some people feel Deja Vu like they’ve lived this moment before. Sometimes, focal seizures affect a specific limb or body part. People with focal seizures also often become very sensitive to light or loud noises. Their vision becomes blurry, and they feel dizzy.

People with focal seizures can look confused or act unexpectedly. They usually don’t normally respond to what’s around them. Sometimes, it’s hard to know when someone is having minor focal seizures because their behavior may alter only slightly.

Generalized Seizures

Generalized seizures are what most people think of when they imagine someone with epilepsy. They typically affect all the areas of the brain when someone loses the ability to communicate, think, or understand.

However, generalized seizures do not all involve jerking limbs on the ground. There are several types of generalized seizures, including absence seizures, when someone looks like they are staring off into space. In addition, tonic seizures affect the muscles and consciousness, causing people to fall and seize on the floor.

Getting Treatment for Epilepsy

Some people with minor cases of epilepsy may not know they’re living with the condition. It can come and go and is sometimes based on what’s happening around them. However, people with epilepsy should see a doctor if there is a repeated pattern of abnormal behavior, loss of muscle function, or loss of consciousness. Without proper treatment, people risk falling and injuring themselves.

There may also be treatments available to manage or eliminate all symptoms. Typically, you should see a doctor if seizures last for several minutes, you have multiple seizures, or fevers accompany seizures.

Doctors can prescribe medication or recommend surgery to treat and correct epilepsy. In addition, recent developments in medicine offer patients more treatment avenues than before.

Peptides & Epilepsy

Peptides are short chains of amino acids that show promising health results. In animal models, some peptides demonstrate promise in their ability to control signaling between neurons in the brain. For example, subjects that received peptides targeting epilepsy saw increased neuroprotective effects that reduced the severity of symptoms and the length of seizures.

Conclusion

Living with epilepsy is an enormous challenge for patients and their families. However, modern treatments and increased awareness make things much easier, and many people around you have epilepsy but manage symptoms thanks to modern medicine.

The main thing people should know is the importance of monitoring seizures and other related symptoms. If they persist, get help from a medical professional to protect yourself and find treatments to help minimize disruption to your life. With the right treatment approach, many people live with epilepsy seizure-free. There will likely be more developments in epilepsy treatments in the coming years, promising a better quality of life for everyone affected.

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