People with epilepsy suffer from abrupt convulsions or blackouts. These convulsions are in medical terms called seizures. These are caused by sudden interruptions or excessive activity in the brain cells that result in cessation or mix-up of signals. Since the brain is pivotal to govern all our actions, the intensity and outcome of the seizures depend on which part of the brain has been affected.
Epilepsy is a syndrome and not a disease. It is broadly classified as generalized and partial. The generalized seizures impact the entire brain. A few examples of seizures are clonic, myoclonic, and tonic. Partial seizures begin in one part of the brain. They either stay at the same place or move to other parts.
The disorder has a direct impact on the nerves and related systems. Patients with the disorder, epileptics, suffer from intermittent seizures. Here, they experience a certain level of physical discomfort or injury during attacks. Occasional seizures are often mistaken for attacks of epilepsy.
The symptoms vary in intensity according to the individuals afflicted. Some patients experience only mild tremors in their limbs whereas others lose consciousness when seizures occur. Factors such as health history, frequency of seizures, and age prove vital in correctly diagnosing and treating the syndrome.
The causes for epilepsy vary according to each person's lifestyle and health. The widely known reasons for epilepsy attacks are excessive drinking, lack of enough sleep, professional and personal stress, and chronic illness.
Epilepsy may not necessarily hamper a person's professional routine if there is sufficient control of the disorder through proper and timely anti-epileptic medication. Persons working in factories or workplaces involving use of heavy equipment are provided with standard safety gear that suffices to protect epileptics.
Worldwide, doctors and researchers are essaying to discover newer panacea and diagnostic techniques for the disorder and make life easier for the patients. Various avenues such as bioengineering, sophisticated imaging and video captures, and genetic engineering are targeting the cause. Epilepsy foundations are set up in various locations to improve.