Epileptic seizure

Spike-waves.png
An epileptic seizure is a brief episode of signs or symptoms due to abnormally excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. The outward effect can vary from uncontrolled jerking movement (tonic-clonic seizure) to as subtle as a momentary loss of awareness (absence seizure). Diseases of the brain characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures are collectively called epilepsy. A seizure is a medical emergency for which medical personnel should be summoned, particularly in patients without a history of or without a seizure management plan in place.

Seizures can also occur in people who do not have epilepsy for various reasons including brain trauma, drug use, elevated body temperature, low blood sugar and low levels of oxygen. Additionally, there are a number of conditions that look like epileptic seizures but are not.

A first seizure generally does not require long term treatment with anti-seizure medications unless there is a specific problem on either electroencephalogram or brain imaging.

5–10% of people who live to 80 years old have at least one epileptic seizure and the chance of experiencing a second seizure is between 40% and 50%. About 50% of patients with an unprovoked apparent "first seizure" have had other minor seizures, so their diagnosis is epilepsy. Epilepsy affects about 1% of the population currently and affected about 4% of the population at some point in time. Most of those affected—nearly 80%—live in developing countries.

The signs and symptoms of seizures vary depending on the type. The most common type of seizure is convulsive (60%). Two-thirds of these begin as focal seizures and become generalized while one third begin as generalized seizures. The remaining 40% of seizures are non-convulsive, an example of which is absence seizure. Duration or length of time a seizure lasts are also important in diagnosis and management, thus bystanders of a patient should time the event after summoning emergency personnel (unless the person is a known epileptic with a preferred management plan in place).

Focal seizures are often preceded by certain experiences, known as an aura. These may include: sensory, visual, psychic, autonomic, olfactory or motor phenomena.

This page was last edited on 24 May 2018, at 08:21.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seizure under CC BY-SA license.

Related Topics

Recently Viewed