Seizures (also known as fits) are caused by sudden and uncoordinated electrical firing in the brain which can cause dramatic, noticeable symptoms or may not cause any symptoms, and a loss of consciousness or altered consciousness level. There are many different kinds of seizures. The word Epilepsy is borrowed from a Greek word “epilepsia “meaning "to possess/seize/ to attack”. You might also hear a seizure called fits, convulsion, attacks, or spell.
Epilepsy and seizures often overlap, so it’s easy to mistake one for the other. However, there are certain differences between these medical terms. The main difference between a seizure and epilepsy is that seizures are a brief occurrence while epilepsy is not a homogenous entity and it’s a neurological condition characterized by several, unprovoked seizures. Though seizures are one of the most distinguishing symptoms of epilepsy, not everyone who has seizures suffers from epilepsy. Epilepsy is also called non-specifically as a “seizure disorder.”
Seizures are temporary, abnormal electro-physiologic phenomena i.e. sudden "electrical storm" in the brain, resulting in abnormal synchronization of electrical neuronal activity. This can spread rapidly between the nerve cells. Seizures can produce different symptoms, from the person such as alteration in mental state, "blanking out" for a few seconds, to full-blown convulsions.
Epilepsy is a relatively common disorder and it is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures, but some seizures may occur in people who do not have epilepsy. No two seizures are exactly the same. They can affect people in distinct ways and in different forms. Seizures do have a beginning, middle, and end point while not everyone will experience every stage. There are also a few common symptoms that seizure sufferers experience at each stage of a seizure.
How are seizures classified now?
There are now 3 major groups of seizures.
1. Generalized onset seizures: These seizures affect both sides (hemispheres) of the brain or groups of cells on both sides of the brain at the same time from the onset. There are few types of seizures in this classification.
2. Focal onset seizures: Previously called partial seizures, the term focal is used instead of partial to be more accurate when talking about where seizures begin. Focal onset means they can start in one area or group of cells in one side of the brain. They do not impair awareness or consciousness and can often be subtle, unusual, unnoticed or be mistaken for anything from being intoxicated to daydreaming.
3. Unknown onset seizures: When the beginning of a seizure is not known/seen or the seizure cannot be diagnosed as either focal or generalized onset, it’s now called an unknown onset seizure. Sometimes this classification is temporary and as more information is learned over time or through further testing, the type of seizure may later be diagnosed as a focal or generalized seizure.
Treatments for seizures depend on their cause. You will be able to prevent future seizures from occurring by treating the cause of the seizures. The treatment for seizures due to epilepsy includes:
Pharmacotherapy: This remains the standard of care in patients with epilepsy or seizures. Comprehensive drug therapies are available today due to the high demand, research, and endorsement of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in the last two decades. The physician will usually prescribe regular use of seizure-preventing medications to achieve a seizure-free status without adverse effects. Most Antiepileptic medicines are taken orally and the choice of drug depends on the kind of seizure a person is having. The medication will prevent seizures as long as they are taken on a regular basis and successful drug therapy requires the active cooperation of the patient. Patients decide to attempt withdrawal from medications should consult their neurologists and they should be aware that the seizures may recur so they should closely observe seizure precautions.
Surgery: Brain surgery for epilepsy is the surgical removal of seizure-producing areas of the brain. Several types of surgery are available to treat seizures which include respective surgery, multiple subpial transaction, hemispherectomy and corpus callosotomy.
Dr.Vanchilingam Hospital is one of the most distinguished speciality neurology hospitals with a dedicated team of experienced and skilled physicians, nurses and healthcare professionals led by founder, Dr.Vanchilingam, one of the best neurology specialists in TamilNadu. Considered as one of the best for Fits treatment in Tamilnadu, the patients undergo an in-depth evaluation and consultation, as well as sophisticated tests like EEG, Video-EEG and MRI scan is conducted as and when indicated. Every attempt is made to arrive at a correct diagnosis for Seizure disorder treatment in Tamil Nadu in the shortest possible time and the most appropriate medications are prescribed for Epilepsy treatment in Thanjavur. Patient counseling is an important component in the treatment of epilepsy at the Dr.Vanchilingam Hospital. In addition, they are the first to provide complete neuro diagnosis and treatment under one roof within 24 hours of consultation.
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