Epilepsy is a condition manifesting through seizures which reoccur from time to time. These seizures are, basically, abnormal discharges of brain's nerve cells, affecting one's motor, sensory and mental functions significantly. Thus, once a person is diagnosed with epilepsy, his/her type of seizures is identified and the recurrent characteristic of suffering from seizures is confirmed. Many times causes of epilepsy remain unknown. Alternatively, some types of epilepsy have reasons behind them.
Facts about Epilepsy
The type of seizures related to epilepsy depends on the part of the brain affected by this condition. However, in some cases, random areas of the brain and attacked by seizures in a general manner, triggering a complete loss of consciousness or rhythmical jerking of the limbs.
In some other cases, a single type of an epileptic attack may evolve into another one. Then, the seizure may start off as a partial one, affecting a single part of the brain and a single part of the body, moving on to some other parts later, becoming generalized.
Reasons behind Epilepsy and Its Characteristics
Brain tumors are known to trigger this condition, along with chemical imbalances in the body, head traumas, drug or other forms of substance abuse, alcohol withdrawal, strokes and birth defects.
Once a person sees a generalized epileptic attack another person is undergoing, he/she is bound to witness crying, stiffening of the body, open eyes, apparent cessation of breathing followed by deep breathing, temporary loss of consciousness, urination and/or general confusion.
On the other hand, people undergoing partial epileptic seizures have the affected body parts jerking in a rhythmic manner, experience strange and abnormal sensations or get prone to involuntary tics or movements. Confusion may go hand-in-hand with this type of attack too.
Genders and Epilepsy
In general, about 2.3 million of people in the world suffer from epilepsy. Out of this total, more than 1 million are males. Thus, both men and women suffer from epilepsy at an almost equal level of frequency.
The differences between epilepsy in males and females is based on different responses of neurons in the cerebral cortex to sex hormones. Basically, progesterone is involved in prevention of the neural discharge mentioned above while, on the other hand, estrogen makes the brain excitability increased.
Women suffering from epilepsy are know to be more prone to infertility and menstrual irregularities, as well as complications during pregnancy. However, these problems are commonly connected to the drugs they are taking in order to prevent epileptic seizures.
In fact, epilepsy is known to escalate during about 33% of all pregnancies. In 50% of others, it remains unchanged, while in about 1/6 of cases the condition of the women improves.