Epilepsy is a serious medical condition of neurological nature, and it may affect both adults and children. The condition is characterized by sudden episodes of convulsive body movements which are medically referred to as seizures. For those who do not know, seizures are irregular body movements which are always spasmodic and they may affect various muscles and muscle groups of the human body. Seizures can be characterized by varying duration and intensity and they may affect different muscle groups.
Epilepsy is actually triggered by abnormal electrical activities in the brain which are reflected on the muscles as convulsive and spasmodic movements. Epilepsy can be classified as a chronic type of disease and it usually relapses periodically if it does not get treated properly.
Signs and Symptoms
As already explained, the most common signs or symptoms of epilepsy are the aforementioned convulsions or seizures. These movements are often jerky, in most cases they are accompanied by unusual sensations and feelings and quite often the sufferer loses consciousness and does not recall anything happening. It is quite common for those who suffer from epilepsy to feel a déjà vu phenomenon or sense strange things, lights and flashes and similar unexplained sensations right before the seizure.
The limbs which get affected by the seizure may be temporarily weak for some time after the seizure. A generalized seizure is often followed by certain symptoms such as sore tongue, confusion, myalgia, headaches and other similar unpleasant ones. There are various different types of seizures.
There are numerous different causes and factors which may contribute to the development of epilepsy. The first group of causes can be characterized as physical causes and those usually include tuberous sclerosis, very raised blood pressure, stroke, space occupying lesion and trauma.
There are also a large number of metabolic causes of epilepsy and those may or may not include various types of illegal drugs, alcohol withdrawal, different sorts of liver diseases, hypocalcemia, hypernatremia, hyponatriemia, uremia, hypoxia, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. There are also certain types of infections which can be associated with the development of epilepsy and those are usually HIV, cysticercosis, syphilis and encephalitis.
Epilepsy can be classified as partial or generalized epilepsy. Generalized epilepsy may also be divided even further into five types. The five different types of generalized epilepsy include akinetic epilepsy, atonic epilepsy, myoclonic jerk epilepsy, grand mal epilepsy and petit mal epilepsy.