Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes seizures due to abnormal brain development, neurotransmitter imbalance and changes in brain structure. The way a seizure looks depends on the type of seizure a person is experiencing. Some seizures can look like staring spells while other seizures can cause a person to collapse, shake, and become unaware of what’s going on around. A measurement of electrical activity in the brain and brain scans such as magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography are common diagnostic tests for epilepsy. Only when a person has had two or more seizures is he or she considered to have epilepsy.
Causes: Epilepsy can be genetic or caused by infections, stroke or traumatic brain injury.
Treatment: For about 70 percent of those diagnosed with epilepsy, seizures can be controlled with modern medicines and surgical techniques. Some drugs are more effective for specific types of seizures. An individual with seizures, particularly those that are not easily controlled, may want to see a neurologist specifically trained to treat epilepsy. In some children, special diets may help to control seizures when medications are either not effective or cause serious side effects.
Need Support? Check out these links for more information:
Epilepsy Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2015, from http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/epilepsy-101/what-causes-epilepsy-and-seizures
NINDS Epilepsy Information Page. (n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2015, from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/epilepsy/epilepsy.htm