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What is Epilepsy?

Picture of a brain with erratic wavelengths

This month is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, Epilepsy is a neurological condition in which there is abnormal brain activity that creates these seizures or unusual sensations as well as unusual behavior and for some loss of awareness. Generally, Epilepsy is an underlying condition that can develop from developmental disorders (for example, Autism and neurofibromatosis just to name a couple) but anyone can develop this condition from different causes.

What are other causes of Epilepsy?

1) Genetics can cause certain types of seizures depending on the genes of of the epilepsy and the genes of the person. These specific genes can make the individual susceptible to environmental conditions that could trigger the seizures.

2) Head traumas from an accident or traumatic injury.

3) Brain conditions from strokes or brain tumors can cause seizures.

4) Infectious disease.

5) Prenatal injury before birth can be due to lack of nutrition from the mother, lack of oxygen to the brain or from an infection the mother could be fighting off.

Epilepsy is abnormal activity in the brain which can disturb processes of motor abilities and brain coordinates. Signs and symptoms may include: loss of consciousness or awareness, uncontrollable limb movements, blank starring, and temporary confusion. These symptoms are different for every type of seizure which are characterized by doctors: Focal or Generalized but are consistent from episode to episode.

With these episodes, there can be severe consequences if happening at the work time. Some of these complications include: falling, drowning, car accidents, during pregnancy, and emotional health issues. In addition to these complications, death could be a consequence of having epilepsy. If someone is experiencing a seizure, you should administer basic First Aid by making sure people are out of the way of the individual, clear away sharp objects or anything that could cause harm to them, place the individual on their side, and make sure to look at your watch to keep track of how long the episode is as well as don't put anything into their mouth. Most individuals who live with epilepsy can tell if they are having an episode, but if they lasts longer than 5 minutes, please call 9-1-1 and get help as quickly as possible.


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