International Epilepsy Day - February 14


International Epilepsy Day is observed on the second Monday of February every year to raise awareness about the illness, its symptoms and preventive measures as well as shine a light on the challenges faced by people living with epilepsy. This day is organized by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) since 2015. The theme for this year is “Step Up Against Stigma” providing a platform for people with epilepsy and those who care for them, to dispel myths with facts.


What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system causing electrical activity in the brain to stop for a short time leading to recurrent seizures. These seizures might include loss of awareness, unconsciousness, sensations etc. Epilepsy occurs due to genetic disorder or through brain injury causing abnormal behavior of the brain and it is the fourth most common neurological disorder.

Despite being one of the world’s oldest known medical conditions, the misconceptions and myths often contribute to the stigma making the condition more difficult to deal with than the condition itself. Every fourth case of epilepsy could be prevented by addressing and minimizing risk factors, such as stroke, brain infections, birth injuries, and head trauma.


Symptoms:

  • Temporary confusion, slowed thinking, problems with talking and understanding
  • A staring spell / rapid eye blinking
  • Stiff muscles
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs, loss of muscle tone
  • Temporary loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Psychological symptoms like fear, dread, anxiety or déjà vu
  • Breathing problems / or faster heart rate
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Not responding to noise or words for brief periods
  • Nodding the head rhythmically when associated with loss of awareness or consciousness
  • Changes in hearing, vision, taste, smell, feelings of numbness or tingling


Types:

  • Focal Seizures or ‘Auras’
    • Simple focal seizures or focal seizures without loss of consciousness
    • Complex focal seizures or focal seizures with impaired awareness
  • Generalized Seizures
    • Absence seizures / Petit Mal seizures
    • Tonic seizures
    • Atonic seizures / Drop Attacks
    • Clonic seizures
    • Myoclonic seizures
    • Tonic-clonic seizures / Grand Mal seizures
    • Infantile spasms
    • Febrile seizures


Treatment:

  • Medication - medicines called Anti Epileptic Drugs (AEDs)
  • Epilepsy Surgery
  • Therapies:
    • Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
    • Ketogenic diet
    • Deep brain stimulation
    • Responsive neurostimulation


Conclusion:

Ruby General Hospital, with its dedicated team of doctors handle all kinds of neurological problems, both acute and chronic issues of adults and children. The department provides treatment for people with epilepsy, aneurysms, brain, spine, nerve and muscle diseases, movement disorders, neuromuscular diseases, paralysis, sleep disorders and many other conditions.


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