Epilepsy

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Recently I read a paper which mentioned the disorder epilepsy; I was not too familiar with this condition so I decided to do a little research. It is estimated that 1.4-2.7 million people in the U.S. are currently suffering from this disorder. It especially affects the very young and the elderly. So what exactly is epilepsy? Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes the brain to produce sudden bursts of electrical energy. For the brain to function, there needs to be a balance between increased activity (excitation) and restraint (inhibition). When this balance is changed, a seizure may result (epilepsyadvocate.com).
Epilepsy occurs when there is significant and permanent changes in brain tissue which causes the brain to be too easily excitable. This then causes the brain to send out abnormal signals, which result in repeated, unpredictable seizures. Common causes of epilepsy includes: stroke, dementia, brain tumor, brain injury near birth, and several other causes. However, it can also be inherited. Symptoms vary from person to person but can include violent shaking and loss of alertness. Treatment for epilepsy can include medication or surgery. When medication does not help with the side effects of epilepsy after two or three anti-seizure drugs it is called "medically refractory epilepsy" (PubMed). Some surgical procedures include, removing abnormal brain cells or replacing a vagus nerve stimulator (similar to a heart pacemaker),and has helped to reduce the number seizures a person may experience. Today, there is a large quantity of research being executed. Studies are looking at: early age development of epilepsy, possible trigger points of epilepsy, drug development, and much more.

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This page contains a single entry by chunk002 published on October 5, 2011 4:39 PM.

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