Epilepsy Essay

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According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, epilepsy is defined as “a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures (convulsions) over time.” Abnormal electrical activity in the brain causes these seizures. Epilepsy can result in learning difficulties, choking (during seizures), injuries, and even brain damage. Most people diagnosed with epilepsy will continue to have it throughout their lives. There is no cure for epilepsy but the disease can be controlled using anticonvulsant drugs (Epilepsy).
Epilepsy can be caused by a variety of incidents or have no known cause at all. Seizures are caused when anything causes a disruption of a burst of electricity in the brain (NINDS Epilepsy Information Page). Seizures can be triggered by strokes, diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, brain injuries, congenital brain defects, brain tumors, abnormal vessels in the brain, and many more (Epilepsy). Having one seizure does not mean a person has epilepsy. Only someone who has had two or more seizures can be considered epileptic (NINDS Epilepsy Information Page). Usually an epileptic person has a strange repetitive sensation called an “aura” before their seizures. An aura can be a sensation of tingling, mood changes, or smelling odors which are not actually there. Three types of seizures can occur with epilepsy: absence seizure, known as petit mal; generalized tonic-clonic seizure, known as grand mal; and partial seizure, known as a focal seizure. A petit mal seizure is the least severe of the three. Petit mal consists of a simple staring spell lasting for usually around fifteen seconds and can occur several times throughout the day. A grand mal seizure produces convulsions of the whole body including involuntary biting, inconti...

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...eople with epilepsy will continue to have it all of their lives. Sudden death is not common in epileptic patients but can occur if in dangerous conditions. Epileptic patients should wear medical jewelry to alert those around them if a seizure does occur. Some people with epilepsy may not be allowed to drive in their state (Epilepsy). Research is still being conducted to find the causes for epilepsy and more effective detection and treatment. MRI and CT scans are improving with newer technology which could influence the knowledge about epilepsy (NINDS Epilepsy Information Page). The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states, “researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a flexible brain implant that could one day be used to treat seizures.” Today epilepsy still continues to affect nearly 200,000 new patients each year.(4)

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