By Dr Shrikant Deshmukh
Published on 16/11/2022
A Brain Disorder-Epilepsy!
Epilepsy is one of the most common brain disorders worldwide and can affect any age group. But the good news is that if epilepsy is diagnosed and treated on time, it can be easily managed; thus, education and research are essential.
Let's Face This And Fight!
To increase public understanding about epilepsy and to eradicate the stigma and fear that surrounds it, National Epilepsy Day is celebrated every year on 17th November!
Did you know? About 10 million people in India suffer from seizures associated with epilepsy.
Therefore, on this year's National Epilepsy Day (2022), let's aim to make people aware of this chronic brain disease and reduce the number of affected people. Although epilepsy is treatable, three-fourths of affected people in developing countries do not receive the necessary treatment.
Do you know what epilepsy is, how it is caused, its symptoms, and its treatment? Let us find out! Join us with this article to raise awareness in our community today!
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a chronic non-communicable brain disorder that affects around a million people worldwide, and recurrent seizures are its defining feature. Epileptic seizures are brief episodes of spontaneous movement that might affect either a portion of the body (partial) or the entire body (generalized). They can also be accompanied by a loss of consciousness and also loss of control over bowel or bladder function.
Excessive electrical discharges in the brain cells cause seizure episodes. Such electrical discharges can occur in various areas of the brain. The smallest muscular jerks or attention lapses can be seizures or severe convulsions that last for a long time.
Symptoms of Epilepsy
- Epileptic seizures
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden twitching (Uncontrollable jerking motions of the arms and legs)
- Temporary confusion
- Stiff muscles
- Psychological symptoms such as fear and anxiety.
Causes of Epilepsy
Genetic predispositions may play a role in some cases of epilepsy, however, other causes that may induce epilepsy include:
- Brain Tumour/Infection
- Drug abuse or alcohol misuse
- Severe head injury
- Lack of oxygen during birth
- Premature birth or low birth weight
- Meningitis or encephalitis
- Alzheimer's disease (advanced stage)
- Bleeding into the brain
- Cerebral palsy
- Mental disabilities
- Family history
Key Facts of Epilepsy!
- Epilepsy is a chronic brain disorder that can affect any age group.
- It is estimated that if epilepsy is properly diagnosed and treated, up to 70% of people with the disorder could live a seizure-free life.
- The risk of losing life early with epilepsy is up to 3 times higher than in the general population if not treated in time properly.
- In low-income areas, 75 % of epilepsy patients are not receiving the necessary care.
- People with epilepsy and their families may also suffer from stigma and discrimination.
How to deal with epileptic seizures?
Here are a few tips that one can do if suffering from a seizure:
- Don't get panic.
- Remove any tight neckwear.
- Allow the person to take rest or sleep.
- Place a comfortable pillow under his or her head.
- Remove any dangerous or sharp objects kept around the person.
- Do not skip the medications advised by doctors.
- If you are taking any medication for any other underlying medical concerns, talk to your doctor.
- Alcohol should not be consumed because it can trigger seizures.
- A person having a seizure shouldn't be restrained.
- People should not put anything in their mouth for fear of Biting their tongues.
- Roll the person onto one side to allow fluid in the mouth to flow out safely.
- Ensure the patient takes plenty of rest.
Note that right medications can treat epilepsy. But more importantly, the treatment should not be delayed. As soon as the disorder is diagnosed, the treatment should begin.
National Epilepsy Day is intended to raise awareness about the condition and encourage people to take the recommended precautions.Share this knowledge and educate people about epilepsy and its treatment methods to raise awareness and reduce the prevalence of this brain disorder in our country.