The brain is the most incredible organof ours, being extremely delicate and functioning in ways that we areyet to understand. Of course scientific branches like medicine haverevealed many mysteries related to the brain. However, manycharacteristics of this organ remain unknown.
The same goes for diseases andabnormalities affecting the brain. Basically, taking intoconsideration the complexity of this organ, there are many thingswhich can make it dysfunctional. Since the brain is responsible forevery single thing we do during our existence, any form ofdysfunction can be debilitating for us. One of the most commonconditions affecting the brain is epilepsy.
Brain and Epilepsy
The upper part of our brain is dividedin two parts called the hemispheres. These two parts are connectedwith countless nerve fibers and each of the two parts is furtherdivided into four lobes which are in charge of different functions ourbrain is responsible for.
All the messages our brain produces andtransfers are sent through neurotransmitters, chemicals created forthese purposes. Whenever a person suffers from some kind of a diseaseof the nervous system, neurotransmitters are affected too. Forexample, once an individual suffers from Parkinson's disease, theneurotransmitter called dopamine gets affected. Also, absence ofnerve cells can lead to the development of conditions such asepilepsy, especially if the lack of oxygen in the hippocampus appearsand lasts for a longer period of time.
There are many possible theories whichrelate epilepsy to different problems within the brain. One of themost acclaimed ones says that epilepsy appears once an imbalancebetween excitatory neurotransmitters, the ones being responsible forincreasing electric activity, and inhibitory neurotransmitters, thosewhich inhibit the activities of brain cells, appears. Basically, if asingle type of neurotransmitters is not active enough, the other typewill become excessively active, leading to this imbalance and thesymptoms of epilepsy.
So, most health experts involved in thetreatments of epilepsy try to establish a balance in the activitiesof one's neurotransmitters. Simply, the less uncontrolled activitiesappear in the brain, the smaller the chances of seizures are.
People who suffer from epilepsy canoften notice some mental signs of an oncoming seizure. Increasedirritability, mood swings, bad temper, depression or some completelydifferent behavioral changes, all can signify such occurrences. Theseabnormalities may last anywhere from a couple of minutes to severaldays.
Yet, a person's consciousness isaffected only during the seizures themselves, in most cases. Usually,the warning signs of an epileptic seizure can help people get into asafe environment and avoid getting hurt.
Sometimes, hallucinations may be partsof the warning signs for epilepsy too.
Epilepsy and Hallucinations
The most common type to be related tohallucinations is the temporal lobe epilepsy. The effects of thisform of the condition usually manifest through symptoms whichresemble schizophrenia. These symptoms are connected to people whohave had epileptic seizures for more than 15 years.
When hallucinations related to epilepsyappear, the affected individuals feel as if they are beingpersecuted, seeing things which are not actually present.
Alternatively, people who suffer fromepilepsy may develop auras before their seizures appear. Thesehallucinations commonly resemble a dream, often being similar. Forthese reasons, people who experience them can remember them andunderstand the auras as the premonitions of convulsions and othersigns of seizures typical for epilepsy. In fact, auras themselves areseizures, taking place on a level too small to affect a person'sconsciousness in a more serious way.
Hallucinations related to epilepsy canhave many other negative outcomes. Basically, individuals who do not knowthat they suffer from this condition may think that thehallucinations are a sign of them going mad. Therefore, people oftenkeep such symptoms a secret, being afraid that the others mayconsider them crazy.
Apart from hallucinations, epilepticsmay experience some symptoms once the seizure ends. Namely, duringthis period they might be irritable and prone to inappropriatebehavior too. Moreover, some individuals may even leave the house intheir night gowns.
For these reasons, epileptic patientswho show such symptoms are usually treated with somepsychopharmacological drugs, along with their regular anti-epileptictherapy.
Taking into consideration that all themental problems which commonly appear with epilepsy may even lead tocontemplations of suicide, this condition should not be neglected norkept a secret. Rather, people who suffer from epilepsy should betreated medically as soon as possible. This way, their chances ofmanaging to prevent and control their seizures are bound to increase.
All in all, the human brain, when notfunctioning properly, can lead to numerous problems, most of whichare considered to be serious ones. One of these is epilepsy. Mostexperts connect it with an imbalance between different neurotransmittersin the brain, triggering seizures and various other symptoms whichappear before and after them. Hallucinations are usually the mostradical side effects of epilepsy, making the sufferers feel strange,leading to the development of symptoms similar to schizophrenia.
Thus, people who experience any signsof epilepsy are advised to seek medical treatment immediately.