There are not a lot of people in the world who do not know what epilepsy is or have never heard of it. Those people who do not know what it is should know that it affects the brain and causes repeated seizures. Some people may know these seizures as fits. According to certain data, there are more than 456,000 people suffering from epilepsy in the UK alone. There is no rule when epilepsy may start but it usually starts when people are very young.
Brain consists of certain cells called neurons and these neurons communicate with each other through electrical impulses. When a person is suffering from a seizure, the electrical impulses are disturbed and that is why the brain and the body act strangely during a seizure. Not every person with epilepsy experiences the same seizures. While some people only experience a “trance-like” state for a few seconds or minutes, others experience loss of consciousness and convulsions.
Types of epilepsy
According to the doctors, there are three main types of epilepsy. These types are symptomatic epilepsy, cryptogenic epilepsy and idiopathic epilepsy.
Causes of epilepsy
First of all, people should know that there are a lot of causes that may lead to epilepsy. The main reason why that is so, is because brain is pretty delicate. If any of the brain parts gets damaged, the brain may not be able to function properly and a person may experience seizures.
In case of symptomatic epilepsy the cause is always known and in most cases it is a head injury.
When idiopathic epilepsy is considered, the experts are still unsure what the actual cause is.
The case is pretty much the same with the third type of epilepsy but is strongly believed that this type of epilepsy occurs due to brain damage.
Some of the main causes of this type of epilepsy are certain conditions that affect the structure of the brain like cerebral paralysis, birth defects, various problems during birth, drug and alcohol misuse, head injuries, strokes and brain tumors. Certain infections that may cause brain damage like meningitis for instance may also cause this type of epilepsy.
Since there are no known causes of this type of epilepsy, experts believe that certain small genetic changes in the brain may be what causes this type of epilepsy to occur.
There are a lot of triggers of seizures but some of the most common are lack of sleep, stress, consumption of illegal drugs and flashing lights.