The Causes Of Epilepsy – How The Seizures Are Triggered

The causes of epilepsy can be attributed to various factors. Seizures occur when there are fluctuations in the normal balance between neuronal excitation and inhibition in the brain. Depending upon the extent of the area of the brain that is affected, the patterns and severity levels of the seizures vary to a large extent.

causes of epilepsy

Head injuries are common causes of epilepsy in people of all age groups.

How The Causes of Epilepsy Vary With The Age Of The Individual

The causes of epilepsy differ from one individual to another based on his age. Here is an age-based classification of epilepsy causes.

1. In Babies Who Are Less Than A Month Old

  • Bleeding in the brain due to injury caused during the birth of the baby
  • Low oxygen supply to the brain during birth
  • Bacterial or viral infections in the brain
  • Defects in the development of the brain while the fetus is growing
  • Genetic reasons
  • Abnormal biochemical changes
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Low levels of calcium or magnesium in the blood
  • The deficiency of vitamin B6

2. In Children Between 1 Month And 12 Years Of Age

  • Infection in the brain tissue
  • Traumatic injury to the brain
  • Genetic diseases such as congenital metabolic diseases
  • High grade fever between 3 months and 5 years of age (This triggers seizures called febrile seizures.)

3. In Adolescents Between 12 And 18 Years Of Age

  • A lump in the brain
  • A brain infection
  • The use of illicit drugs
  • Genetic defects in the brain

4. In Adults Between 18 And 35 Years Of Age

  • Head injuries
  • Injuries to the brain
  • Sudden abstinence from alcohol following long-term alcohol consumption
  • A lump in the brain

5. In Elderly People

  • Sudden alcohol withdrawal
  • Metabolic abnormalities
  • A high level of urea in the blood
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Severe liver diseases
  • Abnormal levels of certain constituents of the blood

Causes Of Epilepsy – Why Seizures Occur

  • The brain is susceptible to seizures under specific conditions.

    Even normal human neuronal cells are susceptible to the factors that provoke seizures under specific conditions. But the susceptibility varies based on the severity of these factors (e.g. high grade fever in children).

    The threshold for the occurrence of seizures is determined by various parameters like genetic factors, the family’s history as far as epilepsy is concerned, or the birth of a defect during the development of brain structures.

  • A variety of conditions are responsible for long-term seizure disorders.

    Serious head injuries like penetrating trauma pose up to a 50% risk of causing long- term damage to the neural tissue. In such cases, the neurological network becomes abnormally hyper-excitable. This phenomenon is called epileptogenesis.

    Other processes like strokes, infections, neural defects, or genetic abnormalities in the brain can also trigger epileptogenesis.

  • There are certain factors that provoke seizures.

    Seizures usually occur intermittently. Individuals with epilepsy often exhibit completely normal behavior between episodes of seizures, and any routine activity may trigger a seizure episode.

    The factors that provoke seizures include:

    • Inadequate sleep
    • Exposure to flashes of light
    • Heavy alcohol consumption
    • Drug overdose (Even certain drugs of common medicinal use)
    • High stress levels
    • Hormonal changes (e.g. during menstruation)
    • Hyperventilation i.e. excessive rapid breathing
    • High grade fevers
    • Neurological infections

How Are The Seizures Triggered?

Here’s the mechanism that triggers epilepsy symptoms.

  1. Neurons (brain cells) have their own electrical potentials, set in order to maintain their optimum function. These potentials are derived from graded concentrations of various ions (sodium, calcium, potassium, etc.) both inside and outside of these cells.
  2. Under normal circumstances, these electrical potentials across the membranes of the neuronal cells are well-balanced and well-regulated. When this balance is disturbed, episodes of convulsions (seizures) are triggered by different mechanisms, depending upon the cause.
  3. Neurons of different parts of the brain control the tone and activity of the muscles of different parts of the body.
  4. Under normal conditions, excessive contractions are inhibited by opposing neurons. GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) is a neuro-chemical that inhibits further contractions of muscles via neuronal control and constantly regulates the frequency and extent of the contraction-relaxation cycles. When precipitating factors step in, this balance is disturbed and the electrical potentials across the neuronal membranes fluctuate. This causes uncontrolled, irresistible, and frequent contractions of muscles. When high-frequency bursts of electrical potential occur in localized parts of the brain, focal seizures occur.
  5. When these bursts of electrical potential are transmitted to other parts of brain, generalized tonic-clonic seizures appear.
cause of epilepsy

A lack of sleep is also a common cause of epilepsy.

Certain Other Causes Of Epilepsy

  • In the case of seizure episodes caused by infections, high grade fever, metabolic changes, poison, or trauma, the neurons become hyper-excitable and the subsequent high-frequency electrical potential bursts provoke seizures.
  • When seizures are triggered by genetic factors, the underlying reason is often the defective development of certain parts of the brain or the defective production of neuronal ion-channels. Both these factors affect neuronal excitability.

Knowing the causes of epilepsy can help you avoid or control many of the factors that trigger seizure episodes. Knowing about the types of epilepsy, its symptoms, and epilepsy treatment can help you counter this condition effectively. In fact, the best thing to do would be to take proper measures for epilepsy prevention.

Epilepsy Treatment Measures – How To Control The Condition

Epilepsy treatment mainly aims at epilepsy prevention by negating the chances of further episodes of seizures and at the treatment of the root causes that provoke epilepsy symptoms. Here are some measures implemented to control epilepsy:

  • Treating the basic cause of seizures
  • Reducing exposure to the factors that provoke seizure episodes
  • Treatment in the form of medicines or surgery, depending upon the causes of epilepsy
  • Specific treatment plans for individual cases (Treatment is based on the cause of seizures and the patient’s response to particular drugs)
  • Multimodal therapy i.e. treatment that involves multiple measures

 

epilepsy treatment

Seek immediate medical help for persons who are experiencing seizures, so that they can get timely epilepsy treatment.

Epilepsy Treatment – What Needs To Be Done During A Seizure Episode

The abrupt onset of seizures may confuse the patient as well as the people present around him. A few important measures must be taken when one comes across a person experiencing seizures:

  • Protect the person from falling down (To prevent head injuries and bone fractures)
  • Stabilize the person in order to avoid trauma to his limbs
  • Place some cylindrical object (e.g. pen, stick, spoon, etc.) in between the jaws of the person to ensure that he doesn’t bite his tongue
  • Seek immediate help for mobilizing the person to the hospital

Epilepsy Treatment Measures

  1. Treatment Of The Underlying Cause Of Seizures

    Depending upon the underlying cause that triggers seizures, variable measures are taken to cure or avoid the cause.

    • In the case of a seizure due to metabolic disturbance, the disturbance is corrected to alleviate the trigger and avoid further seizure episodes
    • When the seizures are due to substances like cocaine and alcohol, it is adviseable to stop the consumption of such substances
    • If the seizures are triggered by a defect in the neural (brain) tissue (e.g. Pus / Tumour/ Defective vessels), the lesion is removed to eliminate the trigger

    Most of the cases falling under this category may not require medicines to cure seizures. Mere removal of the root cause prevents further episodes of epilepsy.

  2. Avoidance Of The Seizure-Provoking Factors

    Factors that provoke epileptic seizures are:

    • High grade fevers
    • Lack of sleep
    • Neurological infections
    • Overconsumption of alcohol
    • Drug overdose
    • Intense light
    • Mental or physical stress
    • Hormone imbalance, such as during menstruation

    Epileptic patients are asked to avoid these factors, as avoiding them will automatically prevent epileptic spells.

  3. Medical Prescriptions

    The use of anti-epileptic medicines has been the principle mode of treatment for most of the cases of epilepsy.

    Choice Of Medicine

    The choice of drug for epilepsy treatment is mainly based upon the type of epilepsy (i.e. Generalized / Partial / Myoclonic / Absence).

    The Effect Of Drugs On Epilepsy

    Different drugs act in different ways to cure epilepsy. They regulate the electrical potentials over neuronal cells by stabilizing the channels that transport ions like sodium, potassium, and calcium across the membranes of these cells. This prevents the neurons from turning hyper-excitable. Some drugs act by increasing secretions of the neuro-chemical GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid), which inhibits excess contractions in muscles.

    Indications To Start Drug Therapy

    Patients with recurrent seizures are prescribed medication when the cause of epilepsy is not known or when it is known but not reversible. Patients with known brain defects (tumour/ infection) and who are prone to repeated seizures are also candidates for medical treatment.

    Medication Protocols

    The frequency of medication may vary from once a day to 3-4 times a day, depending upon the type of seizure, the patient’s tolerance to the drugs, and the side effect of the drugs. Commonly used anti-epileptic drugs are Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, Lamotrigine, and Valproic acid.

    Some common side effects of anti-epileptic drugs are:

    • Rashes
    • Suppression of the bone marrow
    • Liver damage
    • Enlarged gums & excess hair growth over the face (seen in the case of Phenytoin)

    Monitoring Of Patients

    When the patient is put on anti-epileptic drug therapy, he is regularly monitored for varying blood cell counts and the level of drugs in the blood. He is also subjected to various tests to assess liver function. The medication is modified based on these observations.

    Time To Stop Medication

    epilepsy treatment guidelines

    A normalized EEG pattern may prompt the doctor to stop drug therapy, as the EEG indicates that the epilepsy treatment guidelines have worked.

    The doctor’s decision to stop drug therapy depends upon different criteria such as:

    • The pattern of seizures, which is different for various types of epilepsy
    • The neurological status of patient
    • Absolute absence of seizure episodes for 1 to 5 years (the duration varies with the type of epilepsy)
    • Normalized EEG (Electroencephalogram)
  4. Surgery For Epilepsy

    Around 20 % of epileptic patients may not respond to medicines, even after taking the most effective drug combinations. Such patients are usually required to undergo surgery.

    Surgery involves the removal of the part of the brain that is suspected to be the focus of epilepsy (e.g. parts of structures like the amygdala, the hippocampus, etc. in the brain). The removal of this focal trigger point reduces or completely stops the occurrence of epilepsy.

  5. Vagus Nerve Stimulation

    The vagus nerve is one of the most important nerves in the body. An electrode that generates electrical stimuli is placed near the vagus nerve. The intermittent spikes it generates are intended to stimulate the vagus nerve and raise the threshold of the neurons to control the seizures.

Epilepsy treatment can bring visible results if the patient follows his doctor’s advice and adheres to the medication schedules, dosages, and tests as prescribed. If you’re undergoing epilepsy treatment, ensure that you keep a detailed record of all the epileptic episodes you’ve had and take the prescribed medication without fail. In any case, don’t discontinue the medication without consulting a doctor first.

Epilepsy Symptoms That Spell Trouble – The Symptoms Explained

Epilepsy is a clinical condition characterized by uncontrolled, involuntary contractions of the muscles of a part or whole of the body. Discrete neurological (brain) regions trigger fluctuations in the electrical potentials in the brain, causing repeated muscular contractions in the area controlled by that part of brain. Epilepsy symptoms are varied for different types of epilepsy.

epilepsy symptoms

Headaches are common epilepsy symptoms seen in the phase after a seizure episode.

Epilepsy Symptoms That Spell Trouble

Each type of epilepsy is characterized by a different set of symptoms. Epilepsy symptoms vary in terms of factors like the extent of the seizures (a part or the whole of the body), the duration of seizure episodes, the patient’s levels of consciousness during/after the episode, and his awareness of his surroundings during the seizures.

Epilepsy Symptoms For Certain Types Of Epilepsy

  1. Generalized Tonic-Clonic Epilepsy (Grand Mal Epilepsy)

    In this type of epilepsy, seizures begin suddenly and without warning. In some cases, individuals may report prior vague perceptions throughout the body. The phase of active seizure is known as the ictal phase, while the phase following the seizure is called the postictal phase. Here are the symptoms for each phase.

    • Tonic Phase

      Active muscle contractions (generalized) lasting for a few seconds

    • Clonic Phase

      Muscle relaxation that lasts for less than a minute

    • Postictal Phase

      • Excessive salivation
      • The involuntary passage of urine or stools
      • Strenuous breathing
      • Unresponsiveness and varying levels of consciousness for a few minutes to a few hours
      • Confusion about one’s surroundings
      • Headaches
      • Muscle pains

    The patient’s Electroencephalogram (EEG) shows progressively rising, fast and high amplitude voltage discharges in the neuronal tissue. As the patient recovers from the seizure episode, the EEG almost comes back to normal. Ictal Cry Contractions of the respiratory muscles push the air out of the lungs forcibly. At the same time, the contracting muscles of the larynx (respiratory airway opening) prevent this blast of air from coming out of the respiratory path. This process may produce a loud moan, better known as an ictal cry.

    Cyanosis

    Cyanosis is characterized by a bluish appearance of the fingertips, the tip of the nose, and the ear lobes, due to insufficient oxygen in the blood. Impaired respiratory muscle movements pull in the respiratory secretions causing impaired lung function, which ultimately leads to cyanosis.

    Tongue Bite

    When a person forcefully contracts his jaw muscles during a convulsive episode, he runs the risk of severely injuring his tongue if it gets caught in between both the jaws. If this happens, it can be very painful for him. Additional epilepsy symptoms in the case of generalized tonic-clonic seizures include a rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and dilated pupils.

  2. Absence Seizures (Petit-Mal Epilepsy)

    Absence seizures usually occur among children between 4 and 8 years of age, and they are often characterized by:

    • Abrupt onset
    • A short episode of unconsciousness that lasts for a few seconds
    • Complete postural control
    • No postictal confusion
    • Frequent seizures, often even up to 100 times a day

    Sometimes, certain additional symptoms are noted, such as:

    • Repeated and rapid chewing movements
    • Rapid eye blinking
    • Rapid hand movements
  3. Atonic Epilepsy

    Here are some symptoms of atonic epilepsy:

    • A brief seizure, characterized by a nodding movement of the head or a sudden transient head drop
    • Abrupt loss of muscle tone (for about 1 to 2 seconds)
    • Impaired consciousness for some time
    • No feeling of confusion post seizures
    • In some cases, a collapse of the patient to the ground
  4. Myoclonic Epilepsy

    Myoclonus is characterized by symptoms like:

    • Abrupt contraction of the muscles of either a part or the whole of the body
    • In the case of Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy, the onset of generalized seizures in early adolescence, with single or repeating jerky movements on both sides of the body. They usually occur in the morning after the patient wakes up. Lack of adequate sleep is a precipitating factor in such cases
  5. Simple Partial Seizures

    Characteristic features of simple partial seizures are:

    • No obvious loss of consciousness
    • Sensory, motor, autonomic, or psychic symptoms
    • Repetitive flexion-extension movements of arms
    • Synchronous hand and facial movements
    • Onset of seizures in a localized part of the body (such as the fingers), which gradually progress to the whole of the part (such as the hand or the arm)

    Additional symptoms

    • Altered sensations or Paraesthesias
    • Vertigo or dizziness
    • Sweating
    • “Aura” of epilepsy – A feeling that warns about the onset of seizures
    symptoms of epilepsy

    Vertigo or dizziness is one of the symptoms of epilepsy, often seen in simple partial seizures.

    Epileptics people may experience unusual perceptions like:

    • Intense smells (e.g. the odor of burning)
    • Flashes of light
    • Different crude sounds

    These symptoms make the patient look confused and frightened.

  6. Complex Partial Seizures

    The main difference between simple and complex partial seizures is the lack of awareness of one’s surroundings that occurs during complex partial seizures. In this condition, the seizures begin in a certain part of the body, causing the person to lose contact with his surroundings. The patients does not respond to verbal communication. Typical complex partial seizures exhibit:

    • An abrupt motionless state at the onset
    • Repeated smacking lip movements and rolling movements of the hands
    • A temporary loss of memory wherein the individual cannot recollect the seizure episode after it has occurred
    • A state of confusion after the seizure episode, sometimes lasting for hours

As epilepsy can be highly disturbing for the person who has this condition as well as the people around him, it best to take the necessary measures to counter it. The best remedy is to avoid its triggers that act as causes of epilepsy in the first place by taking the necessary steps for epilepsy prevention. If you experience any of the epilepsy symptoms mentioned above, rush to the doctor immediately for epilepsy treatment.

The Different Types Of Epilepsy – Understanding The Condition

Epilepsy is a state of frequent involuntary muscular contractions (seizures) that occur due to underlying focal or general neurological defects. The electrical fluctuations in discrete areas of the brain trigger contractions in the muscles that are controlled by that particular part of the brain. For this reason, there are different types of epilepsy as well as the causes of epilepsy span a great range.

types of epilepsy

Grand Mal epilepsy is one of the types of epilepsy and it is characterized by severe headaches and muscle pain.

Epilepsy is a common neurological condition and it is characterized by recurrent, unexpected seizures. It may affect people from all age groups, ranging from children to the elderly. About 5-10 among 1000 humans are estimated to suffer from the problem worldwide.

Understanding The Different Types Of Epilepsy

Depending on the pattern of seizures and brain activity, epilepsy is broadly grouped/sub-grouped into different categories. The two main types of epilepsy are:

  • Generalized Epilepsy
  • Partial Epilepsy

Types Of Epilepsy: Generalized Epilepsy

Generalized seizures are attributed to widespread cellular, structural, or biochemical disturbances in the brain. Diffused and hyper-synchronized electrical fluctuations in the brain may cause these seizures to appear.

  • Generalized Tonic-Clonic Epilepsy

    The generalized tonic-clonic seizure (also called Grand Mal epilepsy) is the most common among the types of epilepsy, and this accounts for about 10% of all seizures.

    It is characterized by sudden muscle stiffness in the body (known as the “Tonic phase” of the seizure) which lasts for about 10 to 20 seconds. This is followed by a “Clonic phase” which is superimposed with the relaxation of these muscles, lasting for less than a minute.

    After the seizures disappear, the affected individual becomes unresponsive, confused, and disoriented for a while.

    Excessive salivation, breathing difficulty, and tongue biting (as the tongue gets caught between the jaws during seizures) can be observed in such cases. Patients may even pass stool or urine during the episode. After a tonic clonic seizure, the patient may gain consciousness in just a few minutes or after hours. Severe headache and muscle pain are other characteristic symptoms.

    An Electroencephalogram (EEG, which is a graphical record of the brain’s electrical activity) will reveal significantly abnormal electrical changes in brain.

  • Tonic Epilepsy

    This is characterized by muscular contractions, making them stiff for a while.

  • Clonic Epilepsy

    Clonic contractions of the muscles are typically repetitive, rhythmic, and occur in muscles of both sides of body simultaneously.

  • Absence Seizures

    Absence seizures (also called Petit-Mal seizures) are featured by an abrupt loss of consciousness, without any loss of control over the posture of body. They last for a few seconds and patients do not experience confusion after the seizures alleviate.

    Children between 4 to 8 years of age or adolescents are affected by this condition.

    One of the common types of epilepsy, an absence seizure may precipitate in the form of rapid eye blinking or chewing movements. It is characterized by generalised tonic-clonic convulsions. In about 60-70% of the cases, the epileptic individuals experience remission. This type of epilepsy can be treated through medication.

  • Atonic Epilepsy

    People with Atonic Epilepsy mostly face an abrupt loss of muscle tone for 1 to 2 seconds along with a brief spell of unconsciousness, without further disorientation.

    This is one of the dangerous types of epilepsy as head injuries might occur if the individual falls during his unconscious state.

  • Myoclonic Epilepsy

    This type of epilepsy is characterized by brief and abrupt muscular contractions, either in specific parts or the whole body. Jerky muscular movements during sleep, which many people commonly experience, underline this type, and mostly, the cause is an underlying neurological dysfunction.

Types Of Epilepsy: Partial Epilepsy

Partial seizures (also known as local or focal seizures) occur due to any physical damage or structural anomalies in certain areas of the brain. The types of epilepsy here are:

  • Simple Partial Seizures
  • Complex Partial Seizures
  • Simple Partial Seizures

    Simple partial seizures are characterised by the gradual onset muscular contractions in specific body parts, based on where the damage has occurred in the brain.

    Typically, clonic and repetitive contractions-relaxations are observed during the epileptic attack. One of the five special senses (hearing, taste, vision, touch, or smell) may present with abnormal sensations before or during the episode. This feature is called the ‘Aura’ of epilepsy.

    There are some variants among simple partial seizures:

    • Jacksonian March: Abnormal finger contractions gradually progress to the arm within a few minutes
    • Todd’s Paralysis: Localized loss of power and sensations (from a few minutes to hours) in the affected region after the episode
  • Complex Partial Seizures

    A typical ‘loss of contact with surroundings’ is the distinguishing feature of complex partial seizures. Patients often lose touch with the environment during such episodes, and may find it hard to recollect the events later.

    Complex partial seizures occur in the form of ‘automatisms’. These epilepsy symptoms are involuntary movements like lip-smacking, chewing, or swallowing.

different types of epilepsy

Photosensitive epilepsy is one of the different types of epilepsy, which can be triggered by intense flashes of light.

Photosensitive Epilepsy

This type of epilepsy is precipitated by stimuli like intense lights, flashes, fluorescent glows, and regular or bold moving light patterns. Individuals afflicted with this condition should avoid any form of flashing lights, in computers and even in nightclubs.

The different types of epilepsy, as shown, have different triggers. By isolating the cause of the epileptic attack, the ideal epilepsy treatment can be finalized. It is no doubt very important to take epilepsy prevention measures in the first place.

Epilepsy Prevention Tips – Keeping The Fits At Bay

Epilepsy is a medical condition characterized by seizure episodes. There are different types of epilepsy as well as various causes for the condition. The exact cause is even obscure in many cases. In a person with a history of seizures, epilepsy prevention mainly aims at avoiding known causes of epilepsy that act as triggers.

If you have a person with epilepsy in your family, you should keep an eye out for his epileptic attacks to ensure that you can get him medical aid on time. Familial association and support are important while considering epilepsy prevention.

epilepsy prevention

Begin epilepsy prevention by reducing your alcohol intake.

Epilepsy Prevention – Tips That Can Help

As epilepsy is caused by a variety of factors, preventive measures mainly aim at avoiding the causative factor. Here are some ways to avoid epileptic fits:

  • Get Sufficient Sleep

    Epileptic patients are prone to abrupt seizure episodes if they do not get adequate sleep. If you have had seizures in the past, avoid sleep deprivation to prevent their recurrence.

  • Avoid Alcohol Consumption

    Heavy alcohol consumption is one of the triggers for epileptic episodes, so cutting down on alcohol will reduce the chances of seizure precipitation.

  • Beware Of Drug Overdose

    The use of illicit drugs like cocaine (and certain drugs of common medicinal use) also provoke seizures. Withdrawing from the drugs by following the doctor’s advice will automatically reduce the worsening of this condition.

  • Ensure Proper Care In Case Of High Grade Fever (Febrile Seizures)

    High grade fever in children between 3 months to 5 years of age may provoke seizures. Taking utmost care of the child during such bouts of fever reduces the possibility of seizures in future. Medication prescribed in cases of febrile seizure episodes depends upon the frequency and the nature of the seizure.

  • Learn To Manage Stress

    Sudden emotional, psychological, or physical stress can be an epileptic trigger. If you are an epileptic, you must learn to gain control over day-to-day stress. Meditation might help in this regard.

  • Keep Tabs On Hormonal Changes

    A woman with a history of seizure episodes should be very vigilant about possible fluctuations in hormones and other bodily behavior, such as during menopause. Remain cautious during this phase.

  • Avoid Exposure To Flashes Of Light

    Exposure to frequent and varied-intensity light fluctuations may trigger epileptic attacks. Hence it is prudent to avoid such exposure by refraining from driving at night amid the excessive glares of headlights, and not watching television in a dark or dimly lit room.

  • Pay Attention To Neurological Infections

    Infections (bacterial, parasitic, or viral) in the brain may also prove to be a trigger for epileptic fits. Intense medical care of patients with such infections reduces the risk of seizure episodes.

The Role of Prenatal Care In Epilepsy Prevention

The prenatal period refers to the duration of a baby’s life before its birth. Ensure that you receive appropriate prenatal care and protection from infections during pregnancy, to prevent damage to the brain cells of the baby. This reduces the risk of the baby developing epilepsy later in life.

Control over the mother’s blood pressure during pregnancy is also crucial to avoid ‘eclampsia’, a condition characterized by seizures in pregnant women due to uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Epilepsy Prevention At The Genetic Level

Regulating the mechanism of defective genes is a new method to prevent epilepsy from occurring later in life. This type of measure targeted at epilepsy prevention is under trial.

Breathing Exercises For Epilepsy Prevention

Excessive rapid and deep breathing (hyperventilation) has been reported as the primary factor in epileptic attacks. The body mechanism ensures that oxygen is taken inside the body while breathing in, and carbon dioxide is expelled from the body while breathing out.

In the case of epileptic fits, rapid and deep breathing causes a decrease in the carbon dioxide level in the blood, which makes neurons hyper-excitable.

During respiratory exercises (meant to prevent epilepsy), slow and shallow breathing is advocated. This raises the carbon dioxide level in the blood, which reduces the hyper-excitability of neurons and alleviates the risk of a seizure.

Recent research literature suggests that regular breathing exercises help prevent episodes of seizures, but they must be performed only after consulting a doctor.

Three Important Tips For Epilepsy Prevention

  • Stick To Medication Dosages And Schedules

    In patients with epilepsy, drug dosage schedules must be followed accurately, as prescribed by the doctor. Never modify the drug or its dose on your own. An improper or irregular dosage may precipitate an attack of epilepsy.

  • Maintain Medical Records

    Keep regular records of even the slightest event related to epilepsy. Watch yourself for any weird sensation like an abnormal smell/light/sound, as it could be an ‘aura’ (Symptoms which precede the onset of epileptic seizure). The ‘aura’ should be reported to your doctor without delay. It may be an indication that a change in drug therapy or an alteration in dosage schedules is required.

  • Speak Up

    Do not keep mum. Discuss your epileptic attacks with loved ones and people who surround you every day. So in case you experience an epileptic attack, people around you will know how to handle the emergency. Patients of head injuries, metabolic disturbances, and high grade fever are potential candidates who may be affected by epilepsy.

Epilepsy symptoms can be highly disturbing and traumatic for those who undergo them as well as those who witness them. Epilepsy prevention is best done by strictly avoiding epileptic triggers. In addition to this, in cases where an individual already has epilepsy, taking the prescribed medication without fail is an important part of epilepsy treatment.