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Epilepsy

Homeopathic Treatment of Epilepsy

 

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that results from the surges in electrical signals inside the brain, causing recurring seizures. The seizures happen when clusters of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain send out the wrong signals. Seizure symptoms vary. Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others have full-fledged convulsions.

Even mild seizures may require treatment because they can be dangerous during activities such as driving or swimming. Many children with epilepsy even outgrow the condition with age.

Symptoms:

Because epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in brain cells, seizures can affect any process your brain coordinates. A seizure can produce:

• Temporary confusion

• A staring spell

• Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs

• Loss of consciousness or awareness

Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. In most cases, a person with epilepsy will tend to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms will be similar from episode to episode.

Doctors generally classify seizures as either focal or generalized, based on how the abnormal brain activity begins.

Focal seizures:

When seizures appear to result from abnormal activity in just one part of the brain, they're called focal or partial seizures. These seizures fall into two categories.

Simple focal seizures: These seizures don't result in loss of consciousness. They may alter emotions or change the way things look, smell, feel, taste or sound. They may also result in involuntary jerking of part of the body, such as an arm or leg, and spontaneous sensory symptoms such as tingling, vertigo and flashing lights.

Complex focal seizures: These seizures alter consciousness or awareness, causing you to lose awareness for a period of time. Complex focal seizures often result in staring and nonpurposeful movements — such as hand rubbing, chewing, swallowing or walking in circles.

Generalized seizures: Seizures that seem to involve all of the brain are called generalized seizures. Six types of generalized seizures exist.

 

Absence seizures (Petit mal): These seizures are characterized by staring and subtle body movement, and can cause a brief loss of awareness.

Tonic seizures: These seizures cause stiffening of the muscles, generally those in your back, arms and legs and may cause you to fall to the ground.

Clonic seizures: These types of seizures are associated with rhythmic, jerking muscle contractions, usually affecting the arms, neck and face.

Myoclonic seizures: These seizures usually appear as sudden brief jerks or twitches of your arms and legs.

Atonic seizures: Also known as drop attacks, these seizures cause you to lose normal muscle tone and suddenly collapse or fall down.

Tonic-clonic seizures (also called grand mal): The most intense of all types of seizures, these are characterized by a loss of consciousness, body stiffening and shaking, and sometimes loss of bladder control or biting your tongue.

When to see a doctor:

Seek immediate medical help if any of the following occurs:

• The seizure lasts more than five minutes.

• Breathing or consciousness does not return after the seizure stops.

• A second seizure follows immediately.

• You have a high fever.

• You're experiencing heat exhaustion.

• You're pregnant.

• You have diabetes.

• You've injured yourself during the seizure.

• If you experience a seizure for the first time, seek medical advice.

Causes:

Epilepsy has no identifiable cause in about half of those who have the condition. In the other half, the condition may be traced to various factors.

• Genetic influence: Some types of epilepsy, which are categorized by your type of seizure, run in families, making it likely that there's a genetic influence. Researchers have linked some types of epilepsy to specific genes, though it's estimated that up to 500 genes could be tied to the condition. For most people, genes are only part of the cause, perhaps by making a person more susceptible to environmental conditions that trigger seizures.

• Head trauma: sustained during a car accident or other traumatic injury can cause epilepsy.

• Medical disorders: Events like strokes or heart attacks that result in damage to the brain also can cause epilepsy. Stroke is responsible for up to one-half of epilepsy cases in those over age 35.

• Dementia: is a leading cause of epilepsy among older adults.

• Diseases: such as meningitis, AIDS and viral encephalitis can cause epilepsy.

• Prenatal injury: Before birth, babies are susceptible to brain damage caused by an infection in the mother, poor nutrition or oxygen deficiencies. This can lead to cerebral palsy in the child. About 20 percent of seizures in children are associated with cerebral palsy or other neurological abnormalities.

• Developmental disorders: Epilepsy can sometimes be associated with other developmental disorders, such as autism and Down syndrome.

Risk factors:

Certain factors may increase your risk of epilepsy.

• Age: The onset of epilepsy is most common during early childhood and after age 65, but the condition can occur at any age.

• Gender: Men are slightly more at risk of developing epilepsy than are women.

• A family history: If there is a family history of epilepsy, you may be at an increased risk of developing a seizure disorder.

• Head injuries: These injuries are responsible for many cases of epilepsy. You can reduce your risk by always wearing a seat belt while riding in a car and by wearing a helmet while bicycling, skiing, riding a motorcycle or engaging in other activities with a high risk of head injury.

• Stroke and other vascular diseases: These can lead to brain damage that may trigger epilepsy. You can take a number of steps to reduce your risk of such diseases, including limiting your intake of alcohol and avoiding cigarettes, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

• Brain infections: Infections like meningitis, which causes an inflammation in the brain or spinal cord, can increase your risk of epilepsy.

• Prolonged seizures in childhood: High fevers in childhood can sometimes be associated with prolonged seizures and subsequent epilepsy later in life, particularly for those with a family history of epilepsy.

Diagnosis & Tests:

Since different types of seizures respond to different treatments, your doctor will ask about family history and request several tests.

Diagnostic Tests which includes-

EEG Test: This test tracks electrical signals from the brain.

Blood Testing: There are a number of blood tests that may be recommended as part of your epilepsy diagnosis and treatment.

PET Scan: A positron emission tomography (PET) scan may be used to locate the part of the brain that is causing seizures.

Spinal Tap:One test for epilepsy is a spinal tap -- also called a lumbar puncture -- a procedure in which the fluid surrounding the spinal cord (called the cerebrospinal fluid or CSF) is withdrawn through a needle and examined in a lab.

Complications:

Having a seizure at certain times can lead to circumstances that are dangerous to yourself or others.

Falling: If you fall during a seizure, you can injure your head or break a bone.

Drowning: If you have epilepsy, you're 13 times more likely to drown while swimming or bathing than is the rest of the population because of the possibility of having a seizure while in the water.

Car accidents: A seizure that causes either loss of awareness or control can be dangerous if you're driving a car or operating other equipment. Many states have driver's-licensing restrictions related to your ability to control seizures and impose a minimum amount of time that you've been seizure-free ranging from three months to two years — before you're allowed to drive.

Pregnancy complications: Seizures during pregnancy pose dangers to both mother and baby, and certain anti-epileptic medications increase the risk of birth defects. If you have epilepsy and you're considering becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor as you plan your pregnancy. Most women with epilepsy can become pregnant and have a healthy baby. You'll need to be carefully monitored throughout pregnancy, and medications may need to be adjusted. It's very important that you work with your doctor to plan your pregnancy.

• Emotional health issues: People with epilepsy are more prone to have psychological problems, especially depression, anxiety and, in extreme cases, suicide. This could be due to difficulties dealing with the condition itself as well as medication side effects.

Other life-threatening complications from epilepsy are uncommon, but do occur.

Status epilepticus: This condition occurs if you're in a state of continuous seizure activity lasting more than five minutes, or you have frequent recurrent seizures without regaining full consciousness in between them. People with status epilepticus have an increased risk of permanent brain damage and death.

Sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP): People with poorly controlled epilepsy also have a small risk of sudden unexplained death. Overall, less than 1 in 1,000 people with epilepsy die of SUDEP, but it's more common among people whose seizures aren't controlled by treatment. The risk of SUDEP is particularly elevated when generalized tonic-clonic seizures are frequent, and the risk over a one-year period could be as high as approximately 1 in a hundred people.

Treatment:

Allopathic Treatment: Allopathic treatment of epilepsy is anticonvulsant medications. Often, anticonvulsant medication treatment will be lifelong and can have major effects on quality of life. The choice among anticonvulsants and their effectiveness differs by epilepsy syndrome. Mechanisms, effectiveness for particular epilepsy syndromes, and side-effects differ among the individual anticonvulsant medications. Most commonly used medicines are- carbamazepine (common brand name Tegretol), clonazepam (Klonopin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), phenobarbital (Luminal), phenytoin (Dilantin) valproic acid (Depakene), diazepam (Valium, Diastat) and lorazepam (Ativan).

Effectiveness: FDA approval usually requires that 50% of the patient treatment group had at least a 50% improvement in the rate of epileptic seizures. About 20% of patients with epilepsy continue to have breakthrough epileptic seizures despite best anticonvulsant treatment.

Safety and Side Effects — 88% of patients with epilepsy, reported at least one anticonvulsant related side-effect. Some examples include mood changes, sleepiness, or unsteadiness in gait, drug rashes, liver toxicity (hepatitis), or aplastic anemia.

Homeopathic Treatment of Epilepsy: There is abundance of useful medicines in homeopathy. Homeopathic treatment of epilepsy is very effective and curative and the duration time is quite shorter than allopathic treatment. Commonly used medicines are. Artemisea vulg, Cicuta vir, Cuprum met, Calcarea, Bufo, Belladonna etc.