What Is Epilepsy


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What Is Epilepsy

  1. 1. What is Epilepsy? Presented by the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central PA & Rashida Brookins, RN June 10, 2009
  2. 2. Key Epilepsy Statistics <ul><li>About 5 million people in the U.S. have epilepsy- and 350,000 are African American </li></ul><ul><li>Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder behind stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. </li></ul><ul><li>More people have epilepsy than have Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis combined. </li></ul><ul><li>African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with epilepsy than Caucasians. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a seizure? <ul><li>Your brain cells constantly send tiny electrical signals to the body to tell you to move, think and do things. </li></ul><ul><li>A seizure happens when brain cells misfire and stop working the way they are supposed to, sending too many electrical signals at one time. </li></ul><ul><li>These uncontrolled electrical signals cause a change in your awareness, movement or sensation. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Facts about Seizures <ul><li>There are more than 20 different kinds of seizures. </li></ul><ul><li>Some seizures make people shake and have convulsions. Others make people stare into space or act confused. </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime. </li></ul>
  5. 6. What is Epilepsy? <ul><li>Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes a person to have recurring seizures. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Facts about Epilepsy <ul><li>Epilepsy can be caused by anything that damages the brain including head injury, infection, stroke, and brain tumors. </li></ul><ul><li>In 70% of cases the cause is unknown. </li></ul><ul><li>Children, teens, and adults of all races and ethnic backgrounds can have epilepsy. </li></ul><ul><li>Epilepsy can occur at any age. </li></ul><ul><li>Epilepsy is not hereditary, but genetics sometimes plays a role </li></ul>
  7. 8. Myths about Epilepsy <ul><li>It will cause mental retardation </li></ul><ul><li>Epilepsy is strange </li></ul><ul><li>It is contagious </li></ul><ul><li>It is a psychological condition </li></ul><ul><li>People are born with epilepsy </li></ul><ul><li>It is a sign of lack of intelligence </li></ul>
  8. 9. Types of Seizures <ul><li>Grand Mal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also called Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Absence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also called Petit Mal Seizure </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Symptom of a Grand Mal Seizure <ul><li>Sudden Cry </li></ul><ul><li>Fall to the ground </li></ul><ul><li>Stiffening </li></ul><ul><li>Shallow breathing </li></ul><ul><li>Jerking muscles </li></ul>
  10. 11. First Aid <ul><li>Generalized Tonic-Clonic </li></ul><ul><li>Stay calm </li></ul><ul><li>Track time </li></ul><ul><li>Cushion head & protect from hazards like nearby furniture </li></ul><ul><li>Turn person on one side to prevent choking </li></ul><ul><li>Check for epilepsy or seizure disorder ID </li></ul><ul><li>Explain to others what is happening </li></ul><ul><li>Stay until person is fully aware & offer help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Speak calmly and ask simple questions until person can answer </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Symptoms of an Absence (petit mal) Seizure <ul><li>Blank Stare </li></ul><ul><li>Pause in activity </li></ul><ul><li>Possible chewing or blinking motion </li></ul><ul><li>Usually lasts 1-10 seconds </li></ul><ul><li>May be confused with daydreaming, not paying attention, or ADD </li></ul>
  12. 13. First Aid <ul><li>There is no first aid required for an absence seizure, the seizure usually only lasts for a few seconds </li></ul>
  13. 14. True or False? <ul><li>People having seizures </li></ul><ul><li>Can swallow their tongues. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Never! <ul><li>Never! Put anything in the person’s mouth </li></ul><ul><li>Never! Hold down or restrain the person </li></ul><ul><li>Never! Try to give oral medication </li></ul><ul><li>Never! Keep the person on their back during a convulsive seizure. </li></ul><ul><li>Never! Give artificial respiration unless the person stops breathing when the seizure is over. </li></ul><ul><li>Never! Tease someone who has just had a seizure. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Call an Ambulance If: <ul><li>Seizure occurs in a person not known to have seizures. </li></ul><ul><li>Seizure lasts more than 5 minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>If another seizure begins before consciousness is regained. </li></ul><ul><li>Also call if the person: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is injured or pregnant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has diabetes/other medical condition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recovers slowly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not resume normal breathing </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Social Issues in Epilepsy <ul><li>Fear and other emotion </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Financial costs </li></ul><ul><li>School </li></ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Driving </li></ul><ul><li>Recreational activities </li></ul>
  17. 18. Seizures in Later Life: Causes <ul><li>Stroke </li></ul><ul><li>Brain Tumor </li></ul><ul><li>Brain Surgery </li></ul><ul><li>Chronic Alcoholism </li></ul><ul><li>Infections </li></ul><ul><li>Cardiovascular Disease </li></ul><ul><li>Head trauma </li></ul><ul><li>Alzheimer’s/dementia </li></ul><ul><li>Toxic/metabolic disturbances </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-existing conditions </li></ul>
  18. 19. Social Issues for Seniors with Epilepsy <ul><li>Loss of self-confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Embarrassment at effects of seizures </li></ul><ul><li>Increased dependency </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of driving privileges </li></ul><ul><li>Decreased mobility </li></ul><ul><li>Depression/stigma </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of independence </li></ul>
  19. 20. Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania <ul><li>We are here to offer support and services if you or a loved one is having seizures: </li></ul><ul><li>1-800-361-5885 or www.efwp.org </li></ul><ul><li> Thank You!! </li></ul>