Seizure Disorders in Valencia

Seizure Disorders knowns as Epilepsy a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures. Epilepsy may occur as a result of a genetic disorder or an acquired brain injury, such as a trauma or stroke. During a seizure, a person experiences abnormal behavior, symptoms, and sensations, sometimes including loss of consciousness. There are few symptoms between seizures. Epilepsy is usually treated by medications and in some cases by surgery, devices, or dietary changes.

Seizure Disorders Symptoms

Seizures come in multiple types. The most common of these include complex partial, tonic-clonic (generalized convulsions; “grand mal”) and absence (“petit mal”). With each of these seizure types, most people have no recollection of the events associated with the seizure. Complex partial seizures occur when the abnormal electrical activity is confined to one region of the brain. This results in alteration of sensation and/or behavior. This may include uncontrolled movements of one body part, unresponsiveness, staring, facial movements, confusion or, rarely, aggressive behavior. These seizures may be preceded by an “aura”, which may include sudden onset of fear, deja vu, unusual odors or tastes, nausea or stomach discomfort. These events tend to last no more than 5 minutes. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures reflect involvement of the entire brain at once. These include immediate loss of consciousness with associated stiffening of all muscles, followed by alternating periods of flexion and extension of muscles. This is frequently accompanied by involuntary crying out, falls, foaming at the mouth, inability to breathe for a brief period and possible tongue biting. These seizures generally last no more than 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Absence seizures are generally brief episodes of loss of consciousness, including staring and, occasionally lip-smacking. They may resemble day-dreaming to the outside observer and are generally very short, lasting only seconds. The most appropriate approach to a seizure is to ensure that the patient remains safe and to allow the seizure to run its course. A seizure lasting more than 10 minutes should be evaluated emergently.

Seizure Disorders requires a medical diagnosis

The diagnosis of seizures is largely dependent upon a detailed history, including an accurate account of what happened at the time of the apparent seizure. Epilepsy is determined when an individual has had 2 or more seizures. This diagnosis may be aided by the use of electroencephalography (EEG) to evaluate the brain’s electrical activity and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate the brain for structural abnormalities.

People may experience:

Whole body: fainting or fatigue

Muscular: rhythmic muscle contractions or muscle spasms

Sensory: aura or pins and needles

Also common: seizures, amnesia, anxiety, depression, headache, sleepiness, staring spells, or temporary paralysis after a seizure

Seizure Disorders Treatment

Patients with epilepsy are generally maintained on one of ten major anticonvulsant medications. These medications are started and altered as necessary to maintain seizure freedom and freedom from side effects. Anti-convulsant therapy tends to be life-long.

For patients who don’t respond to medications, two surgical modalities exist. A Vagal Nerve Stimulator (VNS) is a device implanted in the chest, with wires which track toward the brain, producing electrical signals which have been shown to decrease the risk of seizures. A very small number of patients may be candidates for epilepsy surgery, in which the dysfunctional area of the brain producing the seizures is removed.

Seizure Disorders

Contact Advanced Center for Neurology & Headache for more info regarding Seizure Disorders