Epileptic is a person suffering from epilepsy. Causes and treatment of epilepsy
About epilepsy, of course, everyone has heard. This neurological illness before doctors called paduchi. How is it treated in the modern development of medicine? Can women with such a diagnosis now be able to give birth to healthy children?
The causes of seizures are only being studied on modern equipment. And the fact that the disease can be controlled is a big step forward for the whole of science. Patients are constantly forced to take specific antiepileptic drugs, this keeps them alive. Let us consider in detail what is hidden under the medical diagnosis of epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a dangerous disease?
The term "epilepsy" means a disease of the nervous system. Until now, the exact pathogenesis is unclear. Although this disease is known since the time of Hippocrates. This neurological disease, according to WHO data today, affects nearly 50 million people around the world. Epilepsy is a chronic condition. Appearing once, an attack, it is very likely, will soon happen again.
Epileptic is a person who from time to time experiences attacks of pathological activity of brain nerve cells. Attacks are accompanied by loss of consciousness, often by stopping breathing and strong body cramps. In the early stages of the disease, seizures are rare, and their manifestation is almost imperceptible, so not all children immediately notice this disease.
When the disease progresses, and parents are afraid or do not want to give the child to heal, then there is a risk of developing an epileptic status - when 4 or more attacks "collapse" on the body immediately. The patient himself does not remember all the details of his condition at all. These conditions are very dangerous, often lethal if no one is around. But timely help and properly selected medicines can help raise a child and successfully socialize it.
Types of epilepsy
There are basically 2 types of epilepsy: localized convulsions and generalized seizures. Generalized are divided into simple and complex. Localized convulsions have one or more sites of convulsive activity in the brain. Such cramps are not associated with brain damage or provoking environmental factors. Their appearance remains a mystery for doctors. Often, their nature is determined by genetic predisposition.
Generalized( generalized) seizures are those convulsions that affect 80% of adults with a diagnosis of epilepsy. Electrical activity in this case affects both hemispheres of the brain.
Discharges in the cerebral cortex are so strong that the psychic sphere suffers. Memory worsens, depression begins.
There are tonic and atonic seizures, convulsive and non-convulsive. In adolescents, juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is often diagnosed. In general, there are many kinds of diseases.
Causes of the disease
It often happens that pathological foci of abnormal excitation of nerve cells appear after trauma to the skull, during severe labor or after unsuccessful falls with head trauma in childhood. However, in 50% of cases, epilepsy is diagnosed as cryptogenic. That is, the cause of the disease doctors could not establish.
Other 50% of cases are the consequences of a tumor in the brain, hematomas, circulatory disorders( ischemia) or the injuries described above. In addition, epilepsy occurs in patients with an inflammatory process in the brain associated with encephalitis.
It is known that seizure begins at a time when the pathological focus in one of the brain systems suddenly spreads across the entire area of the cortex. Sometimes this reaction is triggered by sharp sensory stimuli, sometimes some pills.
We list that it is not possible for epileptics, which preparations can cause seizures of the body:
- some pain relievers;
The epileptic person is forced to limit himself in many ways. You can not drink, practice professional sports, many professions will be inaccessible.
Disease in children
Epilepsy is a disease that begins with childhood and accompanies a person all his life. In young children, there is often no epileptic or epileptic epilepsy. It occurs at the age of 5 - 8 years. The parent may notice that the baby stopped looking, he stopped responding to others. Sometimes the eyeball rolls up, and the skin begins to turn blue from the temporary stop of breathing. Consciousness can be preserved or slightly clouded.
There are so-called atonic seizures, that is, a child loses muscle tone and falls. Some children have exceptionally nocturnal cramps, someone has a seizure syndrome that affects only the muscles of the face. For example, Rolandic epilepsy, in which the child's lips or laryngeal twitch, while significantly increased salivation. These forms of the disease are not dangerous.
The generalized tonic-clonic epileptic seizure in children is diagnosed at the age of 5-6 years to 18. The first attack does not last long, and the elders should not panic at this time. You just need to put something under your head and turn the child to one side. This is the best thing an adult can do in such a situation, and, of course, you need to call a doctor.
Symptoms of tonic-clonic epilepsy
This kind of epilepsy, like generalized tonic-clonic, has 4 distinct phases. They are also the main symptoms. This form always looks very scary. The patient does not remain in consciousness, the pupils are dilated, his body is arched or painfully beats convulsively. Such a person needs help from outside people. The phases of the attack are:
- The precursor phase, or aura. A couple of hours before a severe fit, the patient often has a headache or an uneasiness.
- Tonic phase - approximately 15-40 seconds lasts the convulsive tension of all muscle groups. The pectoral muscles are also strained, and the person can not breathe. The face turns blue at this time.
- Clonic convulsions. This phase lasts about 3-4 minutes. The patient begins to breathe hoarsely. Because of strong salivation from the mouth, something like foam with blood comes out.
- Relaxation. There is a sharp inhibition in the brain cells. After convulsions the person loses consciousness, and then slowly comes to the senses. Sometimes he immediately falls asleep or goes into an easy coma.
If epileptic seizures begin 2 nd and 3 rd time, you should urgently call a doctor. He must urgently remove a person from the status, otherwise brain damage starts from hypoxia.
Is it possible to have children?
If the epileptology doctor has managed to select the necessary treatment and the patient has sustained remission for 2-3 years, then she can plan a pregnancy.
Of course, the risks are great, because if the patient suffers from generalized seizures, then during seizures it can damage the stomach, which will lead to placental separation.
All the more preparations for epileptics negatively affect the development of the fetus. First of all, they reduce the level of the substance necessary for the fetus to carry out - folic acid. Therefore, a few months before conception, a woman should start taking folic acid in capsules to restore the level necessary for pregnancy. The role of folic acid is invaluable to the fetus, especially at the earliest possible time when the nervous system is only being formed.
What about the intake of drugs during lactation? When the baby shows an acute allergic reaction to the mother's breast milk, it is necessary to go to the doctor. Perhaps he will change the anti-epileptic medicine to a safer, but may need to switch to infant feeding. Each case is treated separately.
Questions about the inheritance of epilepsy
Myth or the truth is that epilepsy is always inherited, and the child will also necessarily suffer from such a disease? In fact, the risk of inheriting the disease, if one of the spouses is sick, and the other is absolutely healthy, is small.
In case of acquired disease, epilepsy is not transmitted at all. Children of epileptics with a trauma to the skull are always healthy. The degree of probability of inheritance still largely depends on the form of the disease. The risk is high when one of the relatives( brothers, uncles, aunts) had either a brain tumor that led to epilepsy, or infantile myoclonic seizures that stopped with time.
There are cases when childhood seizures were inherited by grandchildren, and in the grandson the disease manifested itself in many times more difficult. Therefore, before planning a child, you need to find out everything that your grandparents were ill, and not just parents.
Methods for diagnosis of the disease
In order to establish the correct diagnosis, the physician must conduct a variety of tests. Symptoms of epilepsy may be completely different. For example, severe seizures cause a violation of blood sugar levels or a banal deficiency in sodium blood. Also, do not confuse epilepsy with febrile convulsions.
So, what tests are usually prescribed by a doctor?
- EEG with stimulation and deprivation of sleep.
- MRI of the brain.
- Skull X-ray.
- Blood test: immunological and biochemical.
- PET of the brain.
More tests are needed to determine the changes in the psyche: the speed of thinking, memory. These tests help to establish the localization of pathology.
Psychological tests also show whether there are any changes in the emotional sphere( depression, thoughts of suicide).However, such deviations in the psyche are extremely rare.
How is medication treated? After the examination, the epileptologic physician selects the drug that will allow to minimize the pathological excitability of nerve cells. Sometimes combined therapy is provided. The patient is prescribed 2 or more anticonvulsants. There are cases when hormones are required: predinisone or ACTH.
In 90% of cases, the constant use of tablets for epileptics leads to a reduction in the number of seizures. An epileptic is a fully social person, and convulsions prevent him from developing.
Over time, with proper treatment, seizures may completely stop. An adult, after stopping seizures, should take prescribed tablets for at least 5 years. Children only 2 years old.
Patients with epileptic status are brought to normal by injecting anticonvulsant intravenously. Frequent seizures that occur on the background of the tumor, disturb relatives, and doctors sometimes offer surgery to remove part of the brain.
These operations are extremely dangerous, because a doctor can accidentally hook on important neurons. But according to statistics, surgery to remove the focus in the temporal lobe is most successful.
Socialization of children and adolescents with epilepsy
Epileptic is the person who "jams" the central nervous system. This is by no means a psychiatric patient, as many are mistaken, although such people are often very talented.
The profession of epileptics is all those where a person can not provoke a threatening situation for others with his ailment. These people are available places in the library, bookkeeping. He can graduate from university, become a botanist, a biologist. If you have data, you can get an education in an art school.
Sanatorium for epileptics
Neurological diseases began to be treated in sanatoria from the middle of the XIX century. For the epileptics are useful mud procedures, clean air. For people with such a disease it is extremely important to observe a calm and constant regime of the day. Such patients should not miss drugs or sleep. The attending physician in the sanatorium should know about what preparations are already being taken.
It is good to find a sanatorium for such a person in the forest area or in the mountains - where there are no annoying nervous system of sharp sounds. Only there a person can normalize biorhythms.
The lifespan of epilepsy depends on the strength of seizures and lifestyle. The most dangerous generalized epilepsy. As we mentioned, during a tonic fit the patient may be without air for too long or choked with vomit during the seizure period, if no one was around to turn the person to one side. But a small convulsive form of epilepsy is not at all dangerous.
If from the very childhood, approximately from 8-10 years, the child suffers strong and frequent cramps, it should be treated with anticonvulsants. However, all diagnostics are very expensive for middle-income families, especially the 12-hour EEG diagnosis. Good German medicines also cost a lot.
Without adequate treatment, a rapidly progressing disease leads to death at a fairly young age of 20-30 years. This especially applies to guys who do not observe the regime of the day and from time to time drink, despite the prohibitions. The epileptic person should not at all consume alcohol. And also should not swim far, do not have to watch much TV or sit in front of the computer monitor, if his attacks start under the influence of a visual stimulus.
Those who refused to smoke and drink alcohol and take pills for epileptics and lead a measured lifestyle, usually live until old age.