There are many kinds of epilepsy, and people

    with different types behave differently and also
    respond to differe...
In the most common type of epilepsy, people

    have what are called generalized
    seizures, where neurons behave in u...
Epilepsy may be caused by head injuries (so it is

    important to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle
    or playing ba...
Diagnosis of Epilepsy
    A doctor will diagnose epilepsy by asking about how often the

    person has seizures, when th...
Brain wave of someone with epilepsy having a seizure. You can see the spikes in the brain waves
                   at the ...
Treatment for Epilepsy
    People with epilepsy often take medications called

    antiepileptic drugs to control their s...
Epilepsy
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Epilepsy

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Epilepsy

  1. 1. There are many kinds of epilepsy, and people  with different types behave differently and also respond to different treatments. Some people have some warning that they are about to have a seizure because they have a physical reaction such as feeling dizzy or because they hear something. This is called an aura, and acts as a warning that they are about to have a seizure. They can then do something to keep from injuring themselves such as sitting down.
  2. 2. In the most common type of epilepsy, people  have what are called generalized seizures, where neurons behave in uncontrolled ways on both sides of the brain. The seizure will begin in one area of the brain and spread all across the brain. With seizures, people have muscle twitches, convulsions (a kind of spasm), and lose consciousness. After the seizure, the person will not remember having it.
  3. 3. Epilepsy may be caused by head injuries (so it is  important to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or playing baseball!), brain tumors, stroke, plaque build-up in arteries (known as arteriosclerosis), brain injuries that occur before birth such as an infection or a lack of oxygen to the brain, and infections after birth such as meningitis or encephalitis. In many cases, the cause of the epilepsy is not known.
  4. 4. Diagnosis of Epilepsy A doctor will diagnose epilepsy by asking about how often the  person has seizures, when they first occurred, what the seizures are like, if the person knows when they are about to have a seizure and how they know, and if there was anything like a head injury that might have been the cause of the seizures. Sometimes a doctor will use an electroencephalogram (EEG; discussed in the next lesson) to help with diagnosis. People with epilepsy may show large spikes in their brain waves, though people without epilepsy also sometimes have brain waves that might look like those of someone who does have epilepsy, so an EEG doesn’t always work to make a diagnosis. Other ways to look at the brain such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) may be used to examine the brain and try and diagnose epilepsy. All of these brain imaging methods are discussed in the next lesson.
  5. 5. Brain wave of someone with epilepsy having a seizure. You can see the spikes in the brain waves at the number 10 on the slide that indicates the seizure.
  6. 6. Treatment for Epilepsy People with epilepsy often take medications called  antiepileptic drugs to control their seizures, though seizures may stop with no treatment at all. Antiepileptic drugs do not cure epilepsy, but they do control symptoms in most people with epilepsy. These drugs work by reducing the abnormal way some neurons fire and they may change the way neurotransmitters that cause seizures work. The problem is that most of these drugs have side effects, so the amount of the drug has to be carefully controlled so that there are fewer side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea but the seizures are still kept under control.

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