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Dr. E. A. Varalakshmi, Friday, November 8, 2019

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy or seizure is a chronic neurological problem which affects people of all ages. Epilepsy can be a genetic disorder. It is characterized by seizures that are unpredictable. The seizures or condition of epilepsy varies from person to person. Epilepsy originates in the Human brain. There is a disruption of electrical activity in the brain which produces the seizures.

How is epilepsy diagnosed?

Epilepsy is diagnosed very easily by neurologists. The methodology followed for diagnosis of epilepsy is Physical examination of the patient, reports obtained from CT scan of the Brain, and EEG or Electroencephalography. EEG monitors the electrical activity of the brain and records the same in the form of a graph, variations in the graph helps the neurologist understand the patient’s conditions and CT of the Brain shows the images of the Brain. Sometimes the doctors may suggest MRI or Magnetic resonance imaging if necessary. EEG is often considered as the best test to diagnose Epilepsy and its inherent condition.

Treatment options for Epilepsy?

We know that is epilepsy is characterized by seizures. The epilepsy foundation characterizes seizures into two broad types

  1. Primary Generalized seizures: Primary generalized seizures originate in both sides of the brain which are characterized by heavy electrical discharge.
  2. Partial seizures: There is an electrical discharge originating at specific point in the Brain, and is limited to that portion only. It may also occur on account of cortical dysplasias or brain deformity in a specific region. Brain infection, injury to the brain, strokes or tumors are capable of causing partial seizures.

The treatment options include medications to help control seizures, increase the general immunity of the patients and helps strengthen our brain nerves.

Caregiving to our loved ones: Symptoms of epilepsy are very burdening to the patient. It affects the quality of life the patient. Children may have problems with their studies; adults may experience problems with their household activities or work activities. It is important we understand their symptoms and give them the best care possible. Caregiving involves psychological counseling, administration of medications timely and periodical doctor check-ups. These steps help the patient manage epilepsy to a great extent. Knowing and identifying what triggers our seizures helps manage them effectively. Identifying the time and reason when seizures occur help us be prepared, sometimes seizures may occur on account of extreme strain or tiredness or during sleep or before eating, tracking and analysis help us fight the same. Usually people experience seizures during the following times:

  • During a fever
  • Extreme Exhaustion or tiredness
  • Extreme Physical activity
  • Alcohol Intake
  • Drug abuse
  • During Menstrual Cycle
  • Food or drug reactions
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Specific time during the day or night

Some patients may be victims of “reflex epilepsy” or epilepsy that occurs as a reaction to a specific activity like flashing of lights or hearing loud noises or sounds. They can be managed by staying away from them as the reason is clearly identifiable. Identifying the reasons enhances the care giving that our loved ones received. The neurologist’s treatment goals focus on:

  • Identifying when or what trigger the seizures
  • Controlling and treating the seizures
  • Help the person live life to the fullest by helping him/her in overcoming the seizures.

Care giving also needs the immediate relative like a husband or wife or a parent to know the first aid techniques in handling the patient when the seizure occurs. We should not panic when a seizure occurs; we have to make the victim feel cozy and comfortable. We have to implement the steps as advised by the neurologists during the “seizure drills” imparted to us. It helps revive the victim, and he can be taken to the neurologist if an emergency.

Changing Dietary habits helps control epilepsy. Eliminating simple sugars, eating healthy whole foods helps build immunity against the seizures. People with epilepsy must be careful while driving or traveling as a seizure can be triggered even then. Taking a friend or family member along helps you stay safe. During any sporting activity like swimming or skiing or playing football, you must inform your condition to your sports instructor as they can guide you and monitor you if at all you have a seizure.

Anti-seizure or anti-convulsion medications may cause side-effects such as increase in the intensity of seizures, gas, acidity, chills, tremors or general discomfort in some patients, liver problems, weight loss or weight gain that is rapid and such adverse reactions must be reported immediately to help ease the situation.

We at KIMS, focus on improving your quality of life. KIMS is considered as the best hospital with very good neurologists, neuro surgeons and epilepsy specialists with vast experience and excellent treatment skills. Our neuron surgeons have treated patients from all over India successfully. Our expert neurologists focus on various treatment options to treat individual cases with expertise. We offer patient specific treatment. Our neuro surgeons have performed critically acclaimed surgeries to treat extreme cases of epilepsy. Epilepsy care giving at KIMS helps the patient take control of his life once again and this is an assurance we give.



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