Epilepsy.  Sculpture

What is it?

Epilepsy has been known since ancient times. In ancient Greece and Rome, epilepsy associated with magic and sorcery, and was called "the sacred disease". It was believed that the gods unleash the disease the man leading a life of unrighteousness.

As early as 400 BC Hippocrates wrote the first treatise on epilepsy "On the Sacred Disease." The greatest physician of antiquity believed that the attacks are provoked by the sun, wind and cold, which change the consistency of the brain. In the Middle Ages were afraid of epilepsy as an incurable disease which is transmitted through the patient's breathing during an attack. At the same time, bowed before her, as many great men, saints and prophets, were ill with epilepsy.

In the modern understanding of epilepsy — a chronic disease of the brain, the only or the dominant feature of which — repeated seizures.

Epilepsy— Rather common disease that affects approximately 40 million man Worldwide.

Why did this happen?

Now we know that an epileptic seizure — is the result of simultaneous excitation of the neurons (nerve cells) of a particular area of the cerebral cortex — epileptogenic focus. The cause of this site may be head trauma (eg, concussion), stroke, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, alcoholism (alcoholic one in ten suffers from epileptic seizures), drug addiction and many other reasons. It is also known that a predisposition to epilepsy can be inherited.

In two thirds of people with epilepsy, the first attack of developing up to 18 years of age.

With epilepsy should not be confused hysterical seizure. Cramps in hysteria often develop after any strong feelings associated with grief, resentment, fear, and, as a rule, in the presence of relatives or strangers. A man may fall, but tries not to cause yourself serious damage and retains consciousness. Duration hysterical seizure — 15-20 minutes, at least — up to several hours. When a person comes to a normal state, it does not feel at this state of stupor or sleepiness, as is usually the case in epilepsy.

What's going on?







Slight attacks of epilepsy may look like a momentary momentary loss of communication with the outside world. The attacks may be accompanied by mild twitching of eyelids, face and are often invisible to others. It may even give the impression that the man for a moment as if in thought. All proceeds so rapidly that others do not notice. Moreover, even the man himself may not know that he had just had a attack epilepsy.

Epileptic seizures are often preceded by a special condition, which is called an aura. The manifestations of the aura are very diverse and depend on which area of the brain is epileptogenic focus: it may be fever, anxiety, dizziness, state "never seen" by (Jamais vu) Or "déjà vu" (Deja Vu), Etc.

It is important to understand that people in the time attack did not realize and did not feel any pain. The attack lasts only a few minutes.

What to do during an attack

  • do not try to forcibly restrain the convulsive movements;
  • do not try to unclench his teeth;
  • do not do artificial respiration or cardiac massage, lay people with seizures on a flat surface and put under him something soft under the head;
  • Do not move the person to the place where the attack happened, unless it is life-threatening;
  • Turn the patient's head lying on its side to prevent ceasing tongue and saliva getting into the respiratory tract, and in cases of vomiting carefully turn over on his side the whole body.

After the end of the episode to give a person the opportunity to quietly recover and, if necessary, get some sleep. Often the completion of attack can occur confusion and weakness, and it will take some time (usually 5 to 30 minutes), after which a person can stand alone.

Of particular danger are several large seizures of the following without a break one by one. This condition is called status epilepticus. He is deadly, because the patient stops breathing and can lead to death by suffocation. Epileptic status is a major cause of death in patients with epilepsy and requires immediate medical attention.

Diagnoctika and treatment

If you or your loved ones had a seizure, it is necessary, you should visit a neurologist. To create a more complete picture of the causes and nature of the attack, you will also need to consult a epileptologist. Method that can accurately determine the presence of the disease is electroencephalography (EEG). To determine the location of epileptogenic focus using techniques of magnetic resonance and computed tomography. Epileptic seizures are often disguised under various non-epileptic condition, for example, some fainting, disturbances of sleep and consciousness. In this case, the diagnosis method is used by video-EEG monitoring.

Modern drug therapy allows 70% of the totally free man from seizures. In the absence of the treatment of epilepsy drugs may be administered surgery.

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